Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Russia Charging NASA $70 Million Per Rocket Seat

File:STS-134 International Space Station after undocking.jpg

The International Space Station, as seen from Space Shuttle Endeavour in May 2011.
(Image Source: Wikipedia.org )

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer /  April 30, 2013

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space, and the agency’s leader is blaming Congress for the extra expense.

NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday. The $424 million represents flights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as training, for six astronauts in 2016 and the first half of 2017.

That’s $70.6 million per seat — well above the previous price tag of about $65 million.

Russia currently provides the only means of getting people to and from the space station, and its ticket prices have soared with each new contract.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said if Congress had approved the space agency’s request for more funding for its commercial space effort, the latest contract would have been unnecessary. He is urging full funding of the Obama administration’s 2014 budget request of $821 million for the commercial crew program.

More - Link >>> http://www.boston.com/news/science/2013/04/30/russia-charging-nasa-million-per-rocket-seat/vG9jvLDHp5PRvjsOvT8hZP/story.html

Sources: Associated Press News Wire Service, Boston Globe.

Official NASA News Release - NASA Extends Crew Flight Contract with Russian Space Agency:
Link >>> http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/apr/HQ_C13-027_Soyuz_Services.html

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