Congress is being blamed by NASA for the need to pay $424 million more for Russai to get U.S. astronaut's into space. The Associated Press reported that it will cost $70.6 million per seat which is way above the previous $63 million.
The AP reported that NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday and the $424 million is because of flights to and from International Space Station on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The millions will also go towards training six astronauts in 2016 and 17.
"NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says if Congress had approved the space agency's request for more funding for its commercial space effort, this contract would have been unnecessary," reported The AP.
Russia is now the only way that people can get to and from the space station and the price tag has gotten higher with each new contract.
A few U.S. companies are working on the spacecraft and rockets and trying to launch Americans from the U.S. but the AP reported that this is still a few years in the works. NASA's shuttle program in 2011 was the last time crews were able to be launched from the U.S. however even before NASA's 2011 shuttle program, the U.S. has relied on Russia to launch people into space.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said if Congress had approved the space agency's request for more funding for its commercial space effort, the latest contract would have been unnecessary. He is urging full funding of the Obama administration's 2014 budget request of $821 million for the commercial crew program.
"Because the funding for the President's plan has been significantly reduced, we now won't be able to support American launches until 2017," Bolden said on NASA's blog. "Further delays in our Commercial Crew Program and its impact on our human spaceflight program are unacceptable," Bolden said.
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