Author Topic: NASA planning to purchase additional Soyuz seats  (Read 337 times)

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NASA planning to purchase additional Soyuz seats
« on: February 15, 2019, 10:21:29 PM »
Space News by Jeff Foust — February 15, 2019

NASA is considering buying two additional seats on Soyuz spacecraft to ensure a continued American presence on the International Space Station amid worries about additional delays in commercial crew flights.

In a presolicitation notice filed Feb. 13, NASA announced it was considering contracting with the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos for two Soyuz seats, one on a mission launching in the fall of 2019 and the other in the spring of 2020. The notice was first reported by

The additional seats would ensure that NASA astronauts can remain on the station after the end of this year, when NASA’s current access to Soyuz seats runs out. “This Soyuz seat procurement ensures uninterrupted access to the ISS in the event of a delay in U.S. commercial crew launches, mitigating the significant risk to ISS safety and operations that the absence of U.S. crew members at any point in time would cause,” the procurement notice states.

NASA originally planned to have commercial crew vehicles under development by Boeing and SpaceX certified by the end of 2017. Both companies, though, have experienced significant delays, and neither company has flown their vehicles yet on uncrewed test flights, let alone those with astronauts on board. SpaceX is scheduled to launch its Crew Dragon spacecraft on a test flight without astronauts on board no earlier than March 2.

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