MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. Roscosmos plans to make a decision on seats for NASA astronauts in Russia’s manned Soyuz spacecraft in the near future, the state space corporation’s press service told TASS on Tuesday.
"A decision on seats for American astronauts in Russian spacecraft will be made soon. Everyone will be notified about this decision," the statement reads.
According to Russia’s Yuri Gagarin State Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center, the crew of the next expedition that will head to the ISS in spring 2020 aboard the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft consists of Roscosmos cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy.
The crew that will travel to the ISS in autumn 2020 aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft fully consists of Russian cosmonauts — Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner and Nikolai Chub. Another entirely Russian crew will be sent to the ISS in spring 2021 aboard the Soyuz MS-18. The crew will include Sergei Ryzhikov, Sergei Kud-Sverchkov and Sergei Korsakov.
Earlier, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin reported that the state corporation could help American colleagues ferry their astronauts to the ISS, thus making Russian crews more compact. As the Roscosmos chief said, this would affect Russia’s plans for conducting scientific experiments in the space station’s Russian segment.
Rogozin also welcomed a "warm letter" from NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine, who said that the US space agency would most likely need 1-2 seats on Russian Soyuz spaceships to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station in 2020-2021.