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NASA Extends Crew Flight Contract with Russian Space Agency
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) May 01, 2013


File image.

NASA has signed a $424 million modification to its contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) for full crew transportation services to the International Space Station in 2016 with return and rescue services extending through June 2017.

NASA is facilitating development of a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability with the goal of achieving safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the space station and low-Earth orbit beginning in 2017.

This modification to the Roscosmos contract will ensure continued U.S. presence aboard the space station as NASA prepares for commercial crew providers to begin those transportation operations.

NASA is committed to launching U.S. astronauts aboard domestic spacecraft as soon as possible. Full funding of the administration's Fiscal Year 2014 budget request is critical to making these domestic capabilities possible by 2017.

This firm-fixed price modification covers comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, flight operations, landing and rescue of six space station crew members on long-duration missions.

It also includes additional launch site support, which was provided previously under a separate contract. The modification will allow for a lead time of about three years Roscosmos needs to build additional Soyuz vehicles. These services will provide transportation to and from the International Space Station for U.S., and Canadian, European or Japanese astronauts.

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Cargo spaceship docks with ISS despite antenna mishap
Moscow (AFP) April 26, 2013
An unmanned cargo vehicle on Friday successfully docked with the International Space Station, in a delicate manoeuvre after its navigation antenna failed to properly deploy following launch, Russian mission control and NASA said. Russian cosmonauts Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov first oversaw a so-called partial "soft docking" of the Progress craft at 1225 GMT, careful to make sure the ... read more


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