NASA to Extend Soyuz Contract into 2016

NASA will presumably continue launching American astronauts on Roscosmos Soyuz booster rockets and capsules into mid-2016 based upon the release of the presolicitation procurement announcement made by NASA Johnson Space Center earlier this week.

The American space agency intends to contract with the Russian Roscosmos for services on a sole source basis for up to 12 Soyuz seats and associated services beginning in 2014 for a period up to 2 years and 6 months, through June 30, 2016. The previous contract extension was made last year for flights into 2014.

The services are to serve as a bridge between the Space Shuttle and the availability of a commercial human-rated space vehicle. Until a commercial vehicle is available, continued access to Russian human-rated launch, return, and rescue services is essential for planned ISS operations and utilization by all ISS partners.


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