Kazakhstan gets a cut rate deal from Russia

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It’s who you know: Russia has sold Kazakhstan Sarah Brightman’s space tourist seat at a price more than a third less than it charges NASA.

Kazakhstan will pay a mere $20 million to send an astronaut to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket — less than half the sum reportedly asked of a British passenger to make the same trip and less than one-third of the price routinely paid by NASA for U.S. astronauts, news agency RIA Novosti reported Wednesday, citing a Kazakh space agency official.

Tourists pay somewhere around $35 million while NASA pays $75 million. Kazakhstan, however, owns Russia’s spaceport Baikonur, so they have some leverage in the negotiations. Moreover, there are hints that it won’t have to lay out any cash at all, and that the fee will simply be deducted from the $115 million annual rent that Russia pays.

One comment

  • pzatchok

    Its the same reason drugs cost so much in the US and the very same drugs from the very same companies sold in other nations cost so much.
    We have the cash and are willing to pay.

    Part of the price we pay is also to keep the Russian space agency working.
    I think at one point things were so bad that part of our fee was in order to upgrade and rebuild their launch facilities. Things were so bad they could not even guarantee communications and radar tracking. The Russians didn’t even have more than one phone line to and from the area and had no way to connect to the world wide web. NASA personnel had to bring their own sat phones for the first launches that we had people on their ships.

    We have not been just paying for one space agency but two.

    As soon as we launch a human on a private ship the Russian space agency will start a fast collapse.

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