26 Jan 2024 12:20

Starliner spacecraft may be included in ISS cross-flights program - Russia's Krikalev

WASHINGTON. Jan 26 (Interfax) - Roscosmos and NASA plan to include Boeing Corporation's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in their program of cross-flights to the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Programs Sergei Krikalev said.

"We will make gradual planning on the ground. Planning is a little more complex, but we are planning to include the spacecraft for exchange missions in the future," Krikalev said at a NASA press conference on the occasion of the SpaceX Crew-8 Mission.

Krikalev told Interfax on November 23, 2023 that the safety of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft was still being analyzed, so a Russian cosmonaut can fly on it only after the reliability of all systems is confirmed.

Boeing has to perform a certification manned flight to the ISS in April 2024 before being cleared for the first regular flight to the station.

Kenneth Bowersox, associate administrator for NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate, said on September 15 that Roscosmos and NASA were continuing negotiations on the Starliner crew.

In July 2022, Roscosmos and NASA signed an agreement under the ISS program on cross-flights of three Russian cosmonauts on the U.S. Crew Dragon crewed spacecraft and three U.S. astronauts on Russia's Soyuz MS crewed spacecraft in 2022-2024.

Roscosmos said in December 2023 that the Russian-U.S. ISS cross-flights agreement had been extended until 2025. Krikalev told Interfax then that the additional agreement envisions two more joint flights to the ISS before 2025.