13 May 2020 11:38

Contract signed to transport U.S. astronaut to ISS in fall 2020 - Roscosmos

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - Roscosmos and NASA have concluded a contract to transport a U.S. astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) in fall 2020, a spokesman for the Russian state corporation told Interfax.

"A contract was signed today to transport one U.S. astronaut to the ISS on board Russia's Soyuz MS manned spaceship in fall 2020. We do not disclose the contract price because that's a commercial secret," the spokesman said.

The media said earlier that NASA and Roscosmos had agreed on transporting a U.S. astronaut to the ISS on board Russia's Soyuz MS spaceship, which was due to take off from Baikonur in October. According to the United States, it will pay a fare of over $90 million.

At the moment, Russia has the monopoly on transportation of crews to and from the ISS. The United States has had no manned spaceships since 2011, following the shutdown of the Space Shuttle program. The U.S. is planning to perform a manned space mission for the first time in nine years on May 27 on board a CrewDragon ship of Elon Musk's SpaceX. The manned mission has been repeatedly delayed due to unpreparedness and mechanical problems.

Meanwhile, Boeing is finalizing works on its Starliner commercial spaceship.

Cosmonaut Training Center head Pavel Vlasov said in January that two seats would be assigned for U.S. astronauts on board Russia's Soyuz MS spaceships, which would fly to the ISS in fall 2020 and in spring 2021.