(AP) -- The Russians are hiking the price of rocket rides again for U.S. astronauts - to nearly $63 million.
The price goes up in 2014 for an astronaut to fly to and from the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. NASA announced the news Monday.
The previous contract charged just under $56 million apiece
The contract extension with the Russian Space Agency totals $753 million. That covers trips for a dozen astronauts from 2014 through 2016.
NASA officials say inflation is the reason for the latest price increase.
NASA chief Charles Bolden says it's critical for U.S. companies to take over this transportation job. Space shuttles used to do that job. They're being retired this summer.
Explore further: NASA extends its Russian space contract