NASA, world’s largest space research organization will have to rely on Russian spacecraft to carry its ISS missions till 2018, but soon to turn to Boeing for support.
After retiring its last space shuttle in the year 2011, NASA had planned to launch its spacecraft through commercial carriers like Boeing and SpaceX. But, both the firms faced difficulties in their spaceships and rocket development program forcing them to delay the schedule by 3 years. Leaving NASA with only option relying on Russian spacecraft called ‘Soyuz’ for its International Space Station mission.
Russia caught NASA off guard and charged the organization with a ridiculous amount of money for the seats in Soyuz, off course, enjoying its short term monopoly. The problem doesn’t seem to be easing as NASA has provided a new proposal to buy two more chairs on the spacecraft from Boeing, furthermore the means of transportation for the crew members from Boeing on Soyuz 2019. To sum it up, understand this way that NASA will now be buying 5 tickets onboard Soyuz from Boeing.
Seems a tad bit complex, right? it’s due to delays of Boeing’ spacecraft development program forcing NASA to this mystery in the first place. The maker of Russian rocket and spacecraft Soyuz, bagged a $320 million lawsuit against Boeing, lately. The contract bundles five seats on Soyuz, one to launch in 2017, another in 2018 and the rest three in 2019. At present, Soyuz is the only spacecraft ready for a manned mission to ISS.
NASA has invested a rough $75 Billion on the international space station (ISS) and it wants to make sure it is doing good with that investment, which is to dismiss in 2024. The amount NASA paid to Boeing for the seats on Soyuz, still remains a secret as NASA representative declined to provide any estimated insight on such matter but, stated that prices will be finalized after negotiations on the contract. He also noted that before handing over the contract the organization will ensure fair and much reasonable price for the transport assistance from Boeing. No doubt the seats will cost NASA pretty profoundly.
Earlier, NASA used to pay as much as $21.8 million to Roscosmos (a Russian space agency) for each seat in 2008 but now it intends to charge the American space agency with a whopping $81 million by 2018 for a single seat.