National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) granted a contract, which would bring the cargo in the International Space Station, to Space Exploration Technologies.

The other contract was awarded to Dulles, a Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation.

According to NASA, the two private industries were tasked to deliver supplies in the orbital outpost after the US shuttle fleet retired in 2010.

SpaceX's contract is good for 12 flights worth $1.6 billion US, while the Orbital have eight flights worth $1.9 billion US. The two contracts call for at least 20 tonnes in the cargo mass that must be delivered in the space station.

Orbital and SpaceX won contracts in a third bidder, consortium which was called PlanetSpace and it included the three NASA primary contractors -- Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

The SpaceX is considered as a new player in the space exploration company, and it successfully completed its first launch in a commercial rocket, the Falcon 1. Falcon 1 was the very first of low cost launch vehicles worth only $7.9 million US each. The company is anticipated to have trips in the space station with the other rocket called Falcon 9.

The Orbital is a more established and famous industry to the Canadians because it was the former owner of Canadarm technology. Orbital was the owner of MacDonald, Associates Ltd. and Dettwiler when it bought Spar Aerospace Ltd’s space robotics in 1999.

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