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Aug 06 2015

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NASA extends Russian contract for ISS support

NASA Notifies Congress About Space Station Contract Modification with Russia.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden sent a letter to Congress Wednesday informing members that, due to continued reductions in the president’s funding requests for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program over the past several years, NASA was forced to extend its existing contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station. This contract modification is valued at about $490 million.

So this appears to imply either that CCtCAP deliveries from SpaceX and Boeing will not start in 2016/2017 like currently scheduled, or that the CCtCAP contract won’t be able to deliver as many launches as originally planned.

It makes me mad on several levels:

  • First, NASA *was* funded the total amount it asked for, but wanted much less than Congress wanted on the SLS/Orion.
    • So shame on Congress for funding a pork barrel project instead of a commercial launch project that is going to produce resultss quicker than SLS.
    • And shame on NASA, and especially Charles Bolden, for subsidizing our competitor in an attempt to score political points against Congress.
  • Second, how is NASA going to come up with the $490 million for the Soviets Russians? If it could come up with that for them, why couldn’t that money be applied to CCtCAP instead? We’re only about a year away from the first CCtCAP test flight!!
  • Third, in light of the Soviet…er…Russian’s egregious and outlaw behavior toward the Ukraine, why on God’s green Earth are we giving them money and a political victory?

Grumble GRUMBLE GRUMBLE

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/08/06/nasa-extends-russian-contract-for-iss-support/

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