WASHINGTON, January 15 (Itar-Tass) — US President Barack Obama signed the law, which permits the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to make payments to Russia for the delivery of the US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) until the end of 2020, the White House reported on Monday.
In particular, the law extends the NASA powers, which permit the US space agency to make the payments to Russia for the work at the ISS from July 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020.
In view of the limited financing of the space program the US authorities abandoned the program of the space shuttles, focusing on the development of the spaceships, which can be brought on a higher orbit, particularly for the flights to the asteroids and the Mars. For the delivery of the US astronauts to the ISS NASA uses the services of the Russian manned spaceships Soyuz. The spaceships, which are built by the private US aerospace companies, are expected to take this role already in the near future. Still each seat in the spaceship costs 60 million dollars to the US government.