NASA Purchases a Soyus MS Seat from Roscosmos

A US astronaut now has a Soyuz MS seat in the Autumn of 2020 based on a contract that has been signed between Roscosmos, the Russian State Space Corporation, and NASA, the American Nationaal Aeronautics and Space Administration.

TASS published a quote from the press service of Roscosmos saying that on 12 May 2020 "a contract was signed [...] on providing a seat for a US astronaut onboard a Soyuz MS manned spaceship to be launched to the ISS in the autumn of 2020." However, the value of the contract was not revealed because it was "a commercial secret" as to the press service of Roscosmos put it.  NASA spokesman Josh Finch told SpaceNews the agreement is valued at $90.25 million

On the same day Nasa announced that it has completed negotiations with the Roscosmos to purchase this additional Soyuz seat for a launch in October 2020. The deal, NASA said in its brief statement, is intended to “ensure the agency keeps its commitment for safe operations via a continuous U.S. presence” on the ISS until commercial crew vehicles enter regular service.

Since 2011, NASA has been sending its astronauts by the Russian Soyuz spaceship, since the Space Shuttle Program was closed.

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