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NASA declines seat on Russia’s Soyuz for US astronaut ISS flight

Posted in space

NASA changed its mind and decided not to buy a seat on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to deliver its astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) in the spring of 2021, according to Roscosmos’ 2019 annual report.

In May, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine announced that the option of acquiring a seat on the Soyuz MS-18 manned spacecraft, which would be launched in April 2021, is being considered. In August, a source in the space industry said that for the first time in the history of the ISS, a crew consisting of only Russian cosmonauts would fly on Soyuz MS-18, but there was no official confirmation of this so far.

“At the beginning of 2020, the US side announced its readiness to purchase services for the delivery of only one astronaut in the fall of 2020: the conditions are currently being discussed, the modification project is being adjusted,” the report says. In December 2019, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin announced the decision to provide NASA with one seat on the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft to be launched in October 2020 and Soyuz MC-18 to be launched in April 2021.

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