After the U.S. abandons the Unions, they could become unprofitable for Russian ‘Roscosmos’.
Russia will have to use SpaceX ships to deliver its astronauts into orbit. It will be unprofitable to use only the ‘Soyuz’ because the Americans will no longer pay for them. This was reported to Forbes by NASA representative Stephanie Schierholz.
According to her, the agency expects that the countries will exchange places in the ships. Astronauts will go to the ISS on Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, and astronauts – on ” Soyuz”.
NASA is negotiating with Roscosmos that the future missions of the ” Soyuz” and commercial launches involved both U.S. crew members and Russian astronauts. It is expected that the astronauts will fly to Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, and vice versa. We are working on the specific details of how this works right now.
The fact of negotiations was confirmed by Roscosmos representative Anatoly Krasnikov. If the countries agree to exchange places, Russia will probably lose income from launching Americans on the ISS.
As noted in Forbes, in the autumn of 2020, NASA will send to the ISS astronaut Kate Rubins along with astronauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov. They will fly the ” Soyuz”, despite the fact that the agency already has the opportunity to do without the Russian ship.
Place in “Soyuz” will cost NASA 90.2 million dollars, as before the launch of SpaceX. According to Shirholz, this amount includes all the necessary preparation, flight organization, landing, rescue of the crew after the mission, as well as a limited amount of cargo. However, after the autumn launch, the agency intends to stop buying seats in the ” Soyuz”.
NASA is confident that U.S. commercial operators will be available in 2020 and 2021, and further buying seats in the ” Soyuz” will not be required.
Forbes asked why Rubins could not be sent with three American astronauts and a Japanese on the Crew Dragon in August 2020. NASA explained that for commercial missions agreed to buy four seats in the ships: the remaining three are used to send 100 kg of cargo to the ISS.
As explained in Forbes, if the flight Rubins will be the last place bought for NASA in the ” Soyuz”, the ship will be unprofitable for Russia. This may force Roskosmos to buy seats from SpaceX and Boeing.
Over the past 13 years, NASA has paid Russia almost four billion dollars for flights to the ISS. The amount per seat in the ” Soyuz” first cost the Americans 21 million dollars, but by 2020 it reached 90 million dollars.