MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos has discussed with NASA’s Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier the conditions for arranging flights to the International Space Station for Russian cosmonauts on US spacecraft and US astronauts on Russia’s Soyuz, the Roscosmos press service told TASS.
"The sides discussed issues related to organizing the so-called cross flights, in particular the need to sign a respective inter-agency agreement between the Roscosmos state corporation and NASA," the press service said.
The talks were held in late May at the initiative of the US side. During the dialogue the parties discussed sharing information with Russia on new US spacecraft to prepare Russian crews for the flights.
The state corporation stressed that Roscosmos would consider the possibility of integrating these spacecraft into the ISS program only after "they are certified and demonstrate their reliability."
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin spoke about an agreement to fly on both Russian and US spacecraft in March. According to him, this will create an alternative in manned space missions to the ISS. Now the crews fly to the ISS only onboard Soyuz.
The Crew Dragon made by the US SpaceX was launched for the first time to the orbital outpost with a spacesuit-clad dummy on March 2 and it docked to the space station on March 3. After its descent by a parachute, the spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. In early May, the company reported that the Crew Dragon’s capsule was destroyed during failed engine tests on April 20.