NASA Extends Contract With Russia For Rides on the Soyuz

For those who are upset that NASA will be relying on (and paying) the Russian Federal Space Agency to ferry US astronauts to and from the International Space Station after the space shuttle is retired, there’s now more to be in a tizzy about. NASA has signed a $335 million modification to the current ISS contract, adding additional flights into 2014. The previous contract allowed for crew transportation, rescue and related services until 2013. The new extension raises the price of a seat on the Soyuz to $55.8 million, from the $26.3 million per astronaut NASA is paying now, and $51 million a seat for flights in 2011 and 2012.

From the NASA press release:

The firm-fixed price modification covers comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, crew rescue, and landing of a long-duration mission for six individual
station crew members.

In this contract modification, space station crew members will launch on four Soyuz vehicles in 2013 and return on two vehicles in 2013 and two in 2014.

Under the contract modification, the Soyuz flights will carry limited cargo associated with crew transportation to and from the station, and disposal of trash. The cargo allowed per person is approximately 110 pounds (50 kilograms) launched to the station, approximately 37 pounds (17 kilograms) returned to Earth, and trash disposal of approximately 66 pounds (30 kilograms).

Source: NASA

9 Replies to “NASA Extends Contract With Russia For Rides on the Soyuz”

  1. Well, I think it’s good that NASA is paying for a space programme. Even if it happens to be the Russians’ …

  2. Yep.. And perhaps Lockheed Martin can continue to manufacture the Constellation components but sell them to Russia or China.. Obama doesn’t f***ing want them so why not?. Then maybe we can at least buy a ticket or two to get to the moon… If they will let us go with them, of course..

  3. The point of the new program is to buy the cheapest ticket to orbit, no matter who is selling. So we might actually end up using Russian as our primary means of travel from now on.

    They aren’t running commercial programs so much as a political one. Whatever SpaceX or Orbital offers, they’ll just undercut it a few bucks.

  4. How quickly the former Soviets have as Russians become savy to the free market capitalist system of supply and demand. Russia will soon have all of the supply of seats to LEO and the rest of the ISS partners provide much demand for those seats. Doubling of prices is a bargain under those circumstances and shows that Russia is showing restraint and wants to be in for the long term

  5. How the world has changed since 1963! Perestroika never looked so good

    Thank goodness for the Russians, otherwise the US would be sending no one in space for quite a while.

    ‘pose Americans better get use to drink vodka!

    ??????? ??????? ? ??????? – I say!

  6. Tarnations

    “Universe Today ain’t so ”universal.’ You cannot write anything in Russian!

    I.e. Ω – & # 937 – Capital Greek Letter Omega

    (This sight needs to change its character set recognition to something more universe. It is about science, but you can’t put in mathematical or extended symbol terms. I.e. Greek letters! Pity)

  7. Oops! ….so the HTML symbol set does work!

    (It will take writing Russian in a whole sting of HTML symbols. Darn!

  8. Harbles,

    People throughout the SU had learned how to game the system, so a certain level of savyness was already there when the SU collapsed. Add to that a lack of ethical conduct can go a long way in a free market system.

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