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NASA extends Soyuz contract with Russia
Posted: Sat, Aug 8, 2015, 9:49 AM ET (1349 GMT)
Soyuz TMA-14M approaching ISS (NASA) NASA informed Congress this week that it is extending a contract for Soyuz flight services to the International Space Station through 2018 because proposed budget cuts threaten delays to the agency's commercial crew program. NASA administrator Charles Bolden notified Congress in a letter August 5 that it is extending the Soyuz contract with Roscosmos, providing six seats for flights in 2018 and into 2019 at a total cost of $490 million, or more than $80 million per seat. Bolden used the letter to criticize Congress for past cuts to NASA's proposed commercial crew budget, which the agency said has delayed the first flights of those vehicles from 2015 to at least 2017. Cuts in 2016 spending bills under consideration in Congress threaten additional delays, requiring the extension, Bolden wrote.
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