Russia and US sign agreement on astronaut transportation to ISSMarch 17, 2011 at 8:55 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment
by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty
Source: The Voice of Russia
On Monday, March 14, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and NASA signed an agreement which provides for the delivery of American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft until 2016.
This agreement, an addendum to an already existing contract between Roscosmos and NASA, envisages ferrying 12 US spacemen to the ISS throughout 2014-2015. Sending each astronaut to the ISS will cost NASA USD 63 mln, up from the current USD 56 mln. All up, the total value of the contract exceeds USD 750 mln. For each of the 12 astronauts, Russia also undertakes to deliver 50 kg of cargo to the ISS and take another 17 kg back, as well as remove some 30 kg of waste from the Space Station. Furthermore, the Russians will provide pre-flight training and search for and, if need be, rescue astronauts upon their return to Earth. Recall that NASA is wrapping up its own space shuttle program this year, with the oldest member of the fleet, the Discovery, completing its flight program on March 9. The Endeavour and the Atlantis will make their final voyages on April 19 and June 28 respectively. [Full story]