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The competition heats up: In NASA’s new contract with Russia to launch astronauts to ISS, announced today, Russia has raised the ticket price from $63 million to $70.6 million per seat.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union the Russians have become very good capitalists indeed. Consider: the price the Russians were charging for a single ticket on Soyuz was about $33 million in 2004, when George Bush announced the planned retirement of the shuttle. Since then they have repeatedly jacked up the price, knowing that we have no where else to go.
In the end, these price increases are actually a good thing, as they will make it easier for the new American companies to undercut them while simultaneously making a bigger profit.