NASA Agrees to Pay Russians $70 Million Per Astronaut

NASA will be hitching rides on Russian rockets for at least three more years.

Last week, NASA announced the signing of a $424 million extension of its contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency, also known as Roscosmos, hiring the latter to transport U.S., Canadian, European, and Japanese astronauts to the International Space Station through 2016. The contract also extends a deal for Roscosmos to bring said astronauts back from the ISS through June 2017. 

NASA hopes to bring U.S. domestic space transport back on line by 2017, with private contractors including Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) , Sierra Nevada, and SpaceX all vying to provide a "space taxi" service to ISS for the USA. Until then, however, NASA must piggyback on Russian rockets and ride in Soyuz space capsules.

Its latest contract with Roscosmos fixes prices for astronaut training, preparation, and transport to and from the ISS for six astronauts at approximately $70.7 million a head.

Read/Post Comments (15) | Recommend This Article (2)

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  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 3:13 PM, oldcrowecm wrote:

    The US cannot afford such trivial programs as NASA when we have Obummer care, Obummer phones, food stamps for illegals and the lazy, medical care for all illegals as well as lazy, foreign aid to islamic despots, bleeding the wealth of the US by printing fiat currency, no taxes for Obummers corporate pals,on and on

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 4:50 PM, RHO1953 wrote:

    Let's see. Obama kills the US space program, retasks NASA to Muslim outreach, and we pay Russia a fortune to lift our guys into space. Just whose side is he on, anyway?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 4:57 PM, jonnywadsome wrote:

    How about we just DO NOT send any astronauts up there for a couple years(2016 is NOT that far away) and save a few....100 million dollars? Sounds like a good idea to me!

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:21 PM, TexasJax wrote:

    Hitchhiking is more expensive than it used to be.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:26 PM, Bumbleswoman wrote:

    Amazing! NASA is on a limited budget, can't find the money to build our own shuttles, the government has grounded countless military planes because the say there is no money for maintenance or fuel, yet there is $70 million for every astronaut who needs a lift to or from the space station? Does any one else see a problem here?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 5:42 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    This was so predictable, even before Obama was elected I predicted that he would kill the manned space program.

    It was a common meme in 60's era radical philosophy. He was raised on that.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 6:07 PM, SALLYFAT wrote:

    some gays hate science

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 6:08 PM, SALLYFAT wrote:

    but like piano lessons

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 6:50 PM, ManishGuptePhD wrote:

    Was the ISS hacked? How did it loose contact with US? Why was the shuttle program cancelled? I suspect internal economic sabotage..

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 7:02 PM, clemener wrote:

    Point here is we ARE spnding the money (revenue) being laid-off space center worker sold house lost $100K in sale (was paid for) , had to move to find work ...makes me fell all warm and fuzzy inside knowing my job got shipped overseas....and Obama talked about Rommeny..... Yeah yeah , librals will point out space shuttle was to retire...ARES wasn't sorry to ruin your spin ......

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 8:19 PM, tnkayaker2013 wrote:

    hmmm i wonder what the 70 million is REALLY for,cuz we already have an off planet space fleet, paid for by black project funds skimmed from tax dollars, so why do we need to give russia 70Billion dollars?

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 8:21 PM, tnkayaker2013 wrote:

    obviously more efforts to kill the economy if obummer care doesnt do it, this surely will help.

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 9:12 PM, paulc2013 wrote:

    The ignorance & xenophobia of the posters here is unreal.

    1) The shuttle was slated for cancellation before Obama ever became president.

    2) Mexico is becoming an economic power in and of itself (the borders will need to be opened up).

    3) The stock market has doubled under Obama and is at an all time high.

    4) Unemployment is down to 7% and dropping.

    5) North America is becoming energy independent.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 3:01 AM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    paulc2013, did you read the post by clemener?

    yes, the shuttle was scheduled for retirement, but as clemener said the replacement vehicle was cancelled.

    #2 "Mexico is becoming an economic power in and of itself (the borders will need to be opened up)." What the hell does this have to do with space? I speak Spanish and I like the Mexican people (and other immigrants).

    #3 Ok, the stock market has gone up. What has happened to your dollar at the same time? I don't give a crap about govt. statistics on inflation. Ask your wife if it is much more expensive to buy groceries now than it was a few years ago.

    #4 Dude, first of all it is not 7%. What I say will not matter to you. Go google it for yourself. While you are at it, why don't you look up the U6 number, lol.

    #5 "North America is becoming energy independent.". At every pass this administration has blocked expansion of fossil fuel utilization. Why was the Keystone pipeline even proposed? As an efficient way to get Canadian oil to the refineries in the Gulf region. Q: why would it have to go there? A: because the eco-idiots have made it impossible to build a refinery since the 70's. In the meantime, the existing oil refining companies have just made their operations more efficient.

  • Report this Comment On May 05, 2013, at 7:33 AM, DickHamilton wrote:


    you said "Ask your wife if it is much more expensive to buy groceries now than it was a few years ago."

    nothing to do with Obama or the expected decrease in the dollar value from 'printing money' - elsewhere in the world, food prices are up by a factor of between 2 and 3 (or more), and here (Britain) since 2008, depending somewhat on what foods you buy, especially if what you want is a bottle of cooking oil - Corn oil or Rapeseed oil (e.g. Corn up by 3.3x, Rape by 3.2x). Those very same price shifts have caused riots many places.

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