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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Nov 28, 2005 17:32:34 GMT -6
Bush signs bill to buy a Russian Soyuz
Washington (UPI) Nov. 25 -- NASA can purchase a Russian Soyuz, the only spacecraft that can serve as a lifeboat for the International Space Station, under a bill signed this week.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration is permitted to purchase Soyuz through 2012. NASA had planned to build its own transport vehicle to the space station, but the project was canceled because of cost overruns, the Washington Times reported Friday.
President George Bush Bush signed this week, the Iran Non-proliferation Amendments Act of 2005, which allows the space station to continue operating with its current logistics and calls for Russia to provide 11 three-person Soyuz missions, each lasting six months, for a total of 5 1/2 years.
Under the legislation, Cmdr. William McArthur, an American astronaut currently aboard the space station, will return in April aboard the Soyuz.
Before his mission, McArthur said: "Clearly, I need to stay until my replacement shows up. I've got a lot of confidence that once I get on orbit that the station program is going to get me home."
Not a shame actually. It's a good thing. Consider the prestige it gives Russia, which needs it. When both our countries are proud of their accomplishments, together, then we are far less likely to want to go to war.
If the universe is a ball the size of America, then the solar system is almost as large as the smallest cell in the human body.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 9, 2006 4:27:08 GMT -6
NASA Had No Choice But To Buy Soyuz Flights
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 09, 2006 NASA's announcement last week that it will pay Roskosmos $43.6 million for a round-trip ride to the International Space Station this spring, and an equivalent figure for an as-yet-undetermined number of future flights to the station until 2012, represents the agency's acknowledgment that it had no alternative. The deal was reached recently between the two space agencies after Congress last October amended the Iran Nonproliferation Act to permit NASA to conduct commerce with its Russian counterpart. The act had prohibited such transactions, because the both the Clinton and Bush administrations determined that the Russian government was aiding the development of Iran's nuclear program. The fact that both the Bush administration and Congress agreed on the need to exempt ISS activities from the prohibition underscores the desperate situation in which NASA finds itself regarding manned spaceflight.
"If the U.S. is to maintain a presence on the ISS and take advantage of the billions invested in the facility, we must rely on the Russians," Joe Pouliot, a spokesman for the House Science Committee, which oversees NASA, told SpaceDaily.com.
"It's clear we have to rely on Soyuz and Progress, and we definitely have to pay for it," Pouliot said.