Roscosmos Calls For Launch Swaps And Bigger ISS Crew

March 15, 2006

The director of Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said Tuesday that cosmonauts in the next few years would begin flying to the International Space Station aboard NASA shuttles, and U.S. astronauts would fly aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Anatoli Perminov told the Itar-Tass news agency that he had discussed the issue last week in Washington with NASA administrator Michael Griffin, and they agreed they were concerned about lack of continuity and exchanges of experience in missions to the station by the two nations.

Perminov also said he had proposed lengthening individual missions aboard the orbiting facility to one year from the current six months, but he could not obtain NASA's approval.

He confirmed what had been announced at a briefing March 2 - that the crew size on the ISS would be increased to six astronauts by 2009, and said the increase would create room for Canadian, European and Japanese crew members to begin their own science missions aboard the station.

The proposed ISS crew configuration matches what was originally planned, but in the wake of the shuttle Columbia disaster on Feb. 1, 2003, the station partners agreed to pare crew size temporarily to two.

At the March 2 briefing, attended by all five heads of the station partner agencies - Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency, as well as Roscosmos and NASA - Griffin said the shuttles would make 16 more flights to the station, until 2010 when the fleet would be retired.

Perminov said the shuttle schedule also would include two back-up flights if necessary.

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: Don't make us hitch rides with Russia: NASA chief

Related Stories

First signals from CALET on the ISS

August 27, 2015

Five days after it launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on board the HTV-5 Transport Module, operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) docked at the International ...

NASA sees diminutive Hurricane Danny from space

August 21, 2015

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured an image of Hurricane Danny moving through the Central Atlantic Ocean. Satellite data indicates that Danny is a small Category 2 hurricane, in which hurricane-force ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.