KOROLYOV /Moscow Region/, August 31. /TASS/. Russia’s contractual obligations for delivering US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) will expire in April 2019, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters on Friday.
"The landing of a Soyuz MS spacecraft in April will complete the fulfillment of our obligations under a contract with NASA related to the delivery of US astronauts to the ISS and their return from the station," the vice-premier said at a meeting held at the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation on the problems of piloted cosmonautics in the process of fulfilling long-term space exploration programs.
Three more launches are planned to be carried out before the end of this year, Borisov said.
"In 2022, in accordance with the [Russian] president’s instructions, the flights tests of a manned new-generation space ship aboard a Soyuz-5 medium carrier rocket are planned to be held in an automatic mode from the Baikonur cosmodrome and in 2024 these tests are expected to be conducted in a piloted mode," the deputy prime minister said.