MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos and the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have signed a contract for a Soyuz MS seat for a US astronaut in the autumn 2020, Roscosmos press service told TASS on Tuesday.
"A contract was signed today on providing a seat for a US astronaut onboard a Soyuz MS manned spaceship to be launched to the ISS in the autumn of 2020," the press service said, refusing however to disclose the contract’s sum, saying it is "a commercial secret."
NASA said earlier it had finished consultations with Roscosmos on purchasing a seat onboard a Soyuz spaceship to be launched to the ISS in the autumn.
According to NASA’s Stephanie Schierholz, NASA will pay more than 90 million US dollars for a Soyuz seat and corresponding services.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said on May 1 the sides were close to an agreement on the purchase of a Soyuz seat. The launch is planned for October 2020. He did not rule out that NASA could buy one more seat.
The United States stopped its own manned spaceflights in 2011 when the Space Shuttle program was closed. Since then, NASA astronauts have been taken to the ISS by Russian Soyuz spaceship. Currently, a number of US companies are developing new spacecraft for manned programs.