Russian Soyuz spacecraft traveling to the International Space Station will have 12 seats booked for NASA astronauts between 2014 and 2015. With all US Space Shuttles being retired, there will soon be no alternative means to get crews to the ISS.
The tickets have been purchased as part of an extension of the cooperation agreement between Russian Roscosmos and American NASA. With the new addition to the pact, it is now set to expire in late June 2016.
The contract includes all the necessary training for space explorers and delivery of their personal possessions to and from the ISS. The new inflation-accounted cost of travel is $353 million or $63 million per person as opposed to the current price tag of $56 million.
The Space Shuttle program has two more launches scheduled, after which the US’ veteran space vehicles will be grounded. It is not clear yet what spacecraft will replace the shuttles. NASA plans to outsource transportation services to private companies.