NASA extends Soyuz contract to maintain ISS presence through 2020


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Faced with self-imposed delays of the launch of the privately-built manned capsules of Boeing and SpaceX, NASA has now arranged to stretch out the launch schedule of its last few Soyuz manned missions in order to maintain a presence on ISS.

According to Russian sources:

“The following scheme is planned for now: two NASA astronauts will remain on the ISS for nine months instead of the usual six. So, Nick Hague starts his mission on March 14 [2019] on the Soyuz MS-12 and returns to Earth on 18 December on the Soyuz MS-13, while Andrew Morgan will travel to the orbital station on Soyuz MS-13 on 6 July and will return on Soyuz MS-15 in April 2020″, the source said.

In the end it does appear that NASA can no longer slow-walk these American commercial manned capsules. When April 2020 rolls around, they must be operational or we will have no astronauts on board our own space station.

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4 comments

  • wodun

    What is the new price per seat?

  • wodun: These aren’t new purchases. Read the post. They are merely stretching out their planned seat buys to carry things through April 2020. They are also reducing the number of Americans on board ISS.

  • Chris

    Does this explicitly exclude other ways to get to ISS?
    I.e. if SpaceX is able to man rate on schedule can they add to the ISS manefest?

    I realize this is in essentially the next year 2019 to 2020 but it is still a year. And for SpaceX that’s like a dog-year …. x7.

  • Edward

    Chris,
    I think that once Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Dragon are operational, NASA will likely go back to six-month rotations for its crews.

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