NASA needs an additional seat on Soyuz spacecraft

The other seat during the Soyuz spacecraft will cost NASA an extra 90 Million US dollars during the launch of the international space station. The money will be for an insurance policy in case the other crew will delay the commercial team.

NASA announcement on that was that it had agreed with the Russian state cooperation (Roscosmos) to reserve the seat during the launch on Soyuz mission in mid-October. NASA’s communication about the deal was in a short statement that ensures the agency maintains its safe operation through a continuous presence for the U.S. on the ISS until when the commercial crew vehicle reaches the regular service.

On the statement, the value for the deal was not for the public, but Josh Finch, who is NASA spokesman on the matters of the SpaceNews, said the agreement has a value of 90.25 million U.S. dollars. The amount includes the seat on the Soyuz spacecraft and the training that a person needs to go through for pre-launching and post-landing activities and services. The other use for the cash is the compensation for Roscosmos because of pumping the Russian Cosmonaut from the Soyuz mission through flying unspecific amount of Cargo for Russia on to the station through the NASA commercial cargo spacecraft. 

It is not a surprise to purchase an extra seat by NASA. During the last fall, NASA official has put into consideration to buy an extra seat to enhance the presence of the U.S. in the ISS after the fall. There are only one NASA astronauts on the station now by the name Chris Cassidy. Chris arrived at the station in April using the Soyuz seat that was available. The seat was among the two-seat deal the agency had at the beginning of 2019, and he has a plan to come back during the recent fall.

Jim Bridenstine, who is an administrator of NASA, said that NASA is about to sign the agreement with the Roscosmos for an extra seat. He added that they are close to finishing the deal and the project they are about to sign. The above communication came during the May 1 briefing on the state of the upcoming SpaceX Demo-2 flight for commercial crew. The purchase is due to the delay in the commercial crew program for SpaceX and Boeing. The seat for the Soyuz has a high price according to the report from the NASA general Inspector.