Russia wants to charge more for rides to space: report

Feb 09, 2010
Russian Soyuz TMA-17 rocket blasts off to the International Space Station from the launchpad at Baikonur cosmodrome in December 2009. Russia, which is set to hold a monopoly on flights to the international space station (ISS), wants to charge more for rides on its Soyuz rocket, the space agency head said Tuesday.

Russia, which is set to hold a monopoly on flights to the international space station (ISS), wants to charge more for rides on its Soyuz rocket, the space agency head said Tuesday.

"At a meeting of the agency chiefs in Tokyo, I want to discuss the maintenance of transport to the station," Roskomos head Anatoly Perminov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

"We have an agreement until 2012 that Russia will be responsible for this. But after that? Excuse me but the prices should be absolutely different then!"

When NASA retires its long-serving shuttle fleet as planned later this year, the United States and other countries will be wholly dependent on Russia to fly the station's six-man crew to and from orbit.

NASA has signed a deal worth 306 million dollars (224 million euros) with Roskomos for six rides to the ISS in 2012 and 2013, or a charge of 51 million dollars per US astronaut.

But with space now limited aboard the , Russia looks set to curb its lucrative service, for which it had charged cosmos-crazed tycoons 35 million dollars (28 million euros) for the ultimate adventure.

The floating ISS research station was to be closed in 2015 and ditched in ocean like its predecessor the Russian Mir station, but the 16 countries involved are in talks to extend the station's life to 2020.

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LKD
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2010
So the extra 16 million the US is being charged is an irony levy? Or is everyone being charged extra?
antialias
5 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2010
The US should be thrilled. Market forces at work. After the shuttle retires Russia holds the monopoly on manned spaceflight (at least on the capability to do it on a on-demand basis) and therefore can demand pretty much any price they want.

Go, go capitalism.
GIJoeKing
5 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2010
Didn't the U.S. know it was tanking it's program already. It should have had other ideas in place before the shuttle retirement. We had Ares (just admit that was doomed to flop) but what about other ideas? I guess this is a lucrative money generator for Russia. From Russia with love, now we are charging you more!
missile16
5 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2010
Not surprised by this at all.
dan42day
5 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2010
That's what I call solid proof that we won the war of ideology against those commies!
Loodt
3 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2010
Sweet revenge, capitalist lessons learned!

Open the bidding at US100 million per cosmonaut.

If the fly on your rockets you can call them any name you want!