Russia May Raise Price of Soyuz Seats


Price gouging or simple laws of supply and demand? The Soyuz will soon be the only ride in town to the International Space Station, and reportedly, Russia is considering raising the price per seat. NASA and Roskosmos have an agreement for six rides to the ISS in 2012 and 2013, at a rate of about $51 million dollars per US astronaut. “We have an agreement until 2012 that Russia will be responsible for this,” Roskomos head Anatoly Perminov was quoted by the Interfax news agency. “But after that? Excuse me, but the prices should be absolutely different then!”

The end of the shuttle program means NASA has to buy rides on the Soyuz. The total deal of $306 million (224 million euros) seems to be a pretty good deal for Roskomos. But they say in order to provide seats for the NASA astronauts, they’ll have to quit their space tourism program, which charges only $35 million (28 million euros) per seat.

The $51 million includes training, equipment, medical checks, supplies, services for launch operations and support personnel to launch site, flight control operations, and rendezvous and docking services.

NASA says these services are “serving as a bridge between the Space Shuttle and the availability of a commercial vehicle. Until a commercial vehicle is available, continued access to Russian Crew launch, return, and rescue services is essential for planned ISS operations and utilization by all ISS partners.”

10 Replies to “Russia May Raise Price of Soyuz Seats”

  1. This is minor bookkeeping stuff, it can get a lot worse.

    The problem with an international space program is that you’re open to any one of the partners monkeying around with their end of the bargain. Which they might do to annoy another partner or because of things beyond everyones control (like the local economy tanking).
    There is a benefit in having individual programs as well.

    if the Russians had been hitching rides on our shuttle instead of building Soyuz capsules, they (like the rest of our partners) would have been locked out of space by this coming shutdown.

    Throwing all our eggs on one launch system was always a bad idea.

  2. We will likely not be in a position to launch our own people up to our station before the station is ready to be disposed of. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

    We should get our people home before we can’t get them back to Earth ourselves. Bring them home in the Shuttle on the last flight. Let our “partners” use the station and pay the Russians for the ride there and back.

    We still have the brains to conceive, design and build the great unmanned missions and space based observatories. Let’s focus on that for now.

  3. Uuhhh….a proving ground for the eventual proliferation of humankind into the universe? DUH!

  4. I did expect this, and I predict that NASA will either getting humans up will either get far more expensive than if they had their own rocket or they have to send less humans up.

    Outsourcing is NEVER a good idea!
    It sounds nice in theory but rarely lives upon the the expectation in a lot of cases becomes a big nightmare.

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