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Russia says contract with US on astronauts’ delivery to space station to expire in 2019

August 31, 15:46 UTC+3 KOROLYOV

Three more launches are planned to be carried out before the end of this year

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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

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.

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