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Old 11-27-2016, 02:28 PM
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Thumbs down Russia Will Not Send U.S. Astronauts to ISS After 2018

Russia Will Not Send U.S. Astronauts to ISS After 2018
RE: https://www.inverse.com/article/1607...iss-after-2018

Russia Will Not Send U.S. Astronauts to ISS After 2018
NASA has few other options for sending people to the space station.

Russia will not conduct any more space launches to send U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station after 2018, according to a release issued by the country’s TASS news agency.

“We are working with our partners under the effective contracts, but we have no plans for concluding new ones,” Sergey Saveliev, the deputy chief of Russia’s state-run space agency Roscosmos, told TASS.


Without question, Russian-American relations are at an all time low since the end of the Cold War. One of the brighter points to this conflict has been the fact that NASA and Roscomos have continued to get along with their collaborative projects and missions in relative peace. Since the shuttering of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, the U.S. has relied exclusively on sending its astronauts to the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft launches.

Unfortunately, this has put the United States at the mercy of Russia in the event any kind of conflict would arise. “We’re in a hostage situation,” former NASA administrator Michael Griffin once told ABC News. “Russia can decide that no more U.S. astronauts will launch to the International Space Station, and that’s not a position that I want our nation to be in.”

The situation hit a nadir when Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin tweeted in 2014:

“After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline.”

It seems Russia is now making good on subtle threats in the last few years to end their space relationship with the U.S.

The big question now is how will the United States continue to send astronauts to the ISS after 2018? Well, that year coincides with the test launch of NASA’s new Space Launch System. The goal of SLS is to launch rockets that can deliver spacecraft to places beyond Earth’s orbit, but there’s no reason to think it can’t also be used to send people to the ISS.

That just leaves the question of what kind of spacecraft will be delivering people to the station itself. NASA’s successor space vehicle to the shuttle Orion won’t be ready for crewed mission until 2023.

The agency instead may have to rely on private companies for such vehicles. Two of the most promising options are Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, which will hopefully conduct a manned launch in 2018, and the SpaceX Dragon Capsule, which will be conducting crewed tests just next year.

NASA has no qualms with working with private companies to fulfill its missions — especially American ones. The agency has enthusiastically worked with SpaceX and others to conduct ISS resupply missions for the last couple of years, allowing those companies to stretch their space legs and become more experienced with advancing their launch operations and technologies.

That’s critical, because the lack of experience on the part of those countries has reared its ugly head time and time again. After all, there have been multiple ISS resupply missions that have resulted in explosive failure — literally.

If NASA’s only recourse for sending astronauts to the ISS after 2018 are Elon Musk and others, they had better ensure those companies can guarantee the safety of those men and women aboard those spacecraft as well as Russia could with the Soyuz missions. Right now, it’s too early to say they can.

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Should NASA Pay Russia $82 Million for Astronaut Rides?
Because it's going to -- because monopolies can charge monopoly prices.
Rich Smith (TMFDitty) Feb 3, 2016 at 1:13PM
RE: http://www.fool.com/investing/genera...ronaut-ri.aspx

Three years ago, I reported on how NASA had signed a contract to pay Russia's Federal Space Agency, aka "Roscosmos," $70.7 million a head to ferry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). This revelation sparked a lot of outrage on our comments page -- and no wonder.

According to private space pioneer Elon Musk, it only costs about $200,000 in fuel to send a rocket into space. Given that each Soyuz rocket Russia sends up carries three astronauts, that works out to less than $70,000 in fuel cost per astronaut. Yet Russia is charging us more than $70 million per astronaut flight.

Even counting the cost of the rocket itself, that seems a bit excessive -- and it gets worse.

Prices are subject to change...
The NASA contract I wrote about back in 2013, valued at $424 million in total, expires this year. And now we've learned that NASA has asked Congress to allocate funding for another six astronauts to travel to ISS through 2017. We also learn that Roscosmos has raised the price per seat to get them there.

The new price of $490 million will work out to $81.7 million per astronaut.

We'll pay the new price, of course, because in the absence of a Space Shuttle program, or any U.S. rocketships certified to carry astronauts into orbit, we really have no choice. Meanwhile, ISS is up there. It cost us more than $100 billion to build it. Obviously, we're going to pay however many millions of dollars are necessary to keep it populated and operating -- but we don't have to like it.

And we don't have to keep overpaying Roscosmos's extortionate taxi fare indefinitely.

The end of the "seller's market"
If you ask me, as word of the 17% price hike in the cost of "astronaut tickets" filters out, it's only going to give momentum to America's efforts to develop new rocket engines, and new spaceships, capable of manned spaceflight.

Already, Boeing (NYSE:BA) and SpaceX have won contracts to build new space capsules, capable of carrying not just cargo, but also astronauts, into orbit. At the same time, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is working with Blue Origin to develop a new line of American-built rocket engines capable of lifting these spaceships into orbit. (Together, Boeing and Lockheed Martin form the United Launch Alliance, which is responsible for most NASA space launches.) If the choice comes down to paying ever-increasing fees to Russia to carry our astronauts into orbit or paying Boeing and Lockheed a bit more to develop our own engines, rockets, and spacecraft to accomplish the same mission -- well, that's not a hard choice to make.

Five years after retiring the Space Shuttle, it's time to put Americans back in space under our own propulsion. - THIS I AGREE - we were number one for years but Congress wouldn't fund the NASA project's and turned it over to private or external sources.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:09 PM
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Fancy a holiday on the International Space Station? Boeing reveals its new 'space taxi' will include seat for tourists - if they are willing to pay $50m

Firm named yesterday as one of two selected to create shuttle replacement
Selected by Nasa alongside Elon Musk's SpaceX - Will begin test flights in 2017
By MARK PRIGG FOR MAILONLINE

Boeing's proposal to develop a so-called space taxi for NASA astronauts includes a seat for paying tourists to fly to the International Space Station, it has been revealed.

The $4.2 billion, five-year contract allows Boeing to sell rides to tourists, Boeing Commercial Crew Program Manager John Mulholland told Reuters, although a price has not yet been set.

Although the exact price has not been set, Boeing said that the price would be competitive with what the Russian space agency now charges to fly tourists to the orbital outpost - around $50m.

'Part of our proposal into NASA would be flying a Space Adventures spaceflight participant up to the ISS,' Mulholland said, referring to a Virginia-based space tourism company that brokers travel aboard Russian Soyuz capsules.

Now that Boeing has won a share of NASA's space taxi contract, 'we hope ... to start working with the ISS program to make it happen,' he said.

'We think it would be important to help spur this industry.

Space Adventures is scheduled in January to begin training British singer Sarah Brightman for a 10-day visit to the station, a trip costing $52 million, according to Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures.

Brightman is slated to become the eighth paying passenger to travel to the station, a $100 billion research complex that flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth.
Boeing's first test launch of the taxi is not expected until 2017.

But Boeing faces competition from rival Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, which also won a NASA contract and says it can develop the taxi for nearly 40 percent less than Boeing.

SpaceX already plans to offer trips to tourists, but did not immediately respond to questions about whether it would fly tourists on its NASA missions.

The NASA contracts awarded on Tuesday to Boeing and SpaceX cover design, building, testing their spaceship and up to six missions to fly astronauts to the station, a pace of roughly two per year.

California-based SpaceX, owned and operated by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, says it can create and fly the taxi for $2.6 billion, compared to Boeing's $4.2 billion bid.

'I think it's a vital next step in SpaceX's progress,' Musk said in an interview on FOX Business Network.

The taxi project appears to be well within Boeing's core space capabilities, which suggests it will not have trouble meeting its cost and schedule targets, analysts said.

Alliance would invest heavily in a new rocket engine being developed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his private company space company Blue Origin.

The agreement is aimed at freeing the United States from its dependency on Russian-made engines for rockets for launches and is expected to have little effect on the space taxi.

Meanwhile, SpaceX has been aggressively exploiting the price advantage of its American-made rocket to try to break ULA's monopoly on launching the U.S. military's satellites.

A lawsuit contesting the Air Force's last contract with ULA is pending in a U.S. court.

The company also has been successfully wooing commercial satellite launches, a business estimated to be worth $2.4 billion a year, a 2014 Satellite Industry Association study shows.

So far, the company's Falcon 9 rockets have flown 12 times, all successfully. ULA's Atlas 5, which is mostly used by the U.S. military, made its 49th successful flight late on Tuesday.

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Only thing not sure is if this is all private or partially funded by US$ thru NASA funding?
One thing for sure we need to get our USA Space Program up and running and quite paying Russia all these dollars.

One thing tho - The Space Station belongs to how many countries and are they funding the charges the same as the US?
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:33 PM
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How much money is spent on space exploration? (Intermediate)
RE: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/abo...n-intermediate

Note this is old data as of 6-22-15 by Ann Martin

What countries are involved in space exploration? And how much money of the United States Budget, and the top 5 other countries' budgets are being used for space exploration?

Space agencies involved in human space flight are located in the US (NASA), Russia, The European Union (ESA), China, Canada, Japan and India. The US, Russia and China are the only countries to have independently put people in space. India and Japan state that they have the intention of doing this in the coming decades. European and Canadian astronauts fly with NASA, and the Russian Space Agency and are involved in the International Space Station.

You can see the NASA budget over the last 40 or so years here. In 2005 NASA had a budget of $16.2 billion; this includes not only the human spaceflight division, but also other engineering projects, and science funded by NASA. The total federal spending budget in 2005 was on the order of $2 trillion ($2000 billion), making the NASA share 0.8% of the budget. By comparison roughly 19% of the budget was spent on the Military, 21% on Social Security and 8% went to paying interest on the national debt.

The ESA budget for 2005 was 2.98 billion euros (about 3.5 billion dollars), but many European countries also have their own space agencies which are independently funded, so it's not strictly a fair comparison.

ESA and NASA are by far the highest funded agencies. The Russian space agency has an annual budget of $800-900 million dollars (and it's about the same for India), Japan ~1.8 billion, China ~1.2 billion.

To be fair though, we need to compare these numbers to something which tells you about the wealth of the nation - for example the Gross Domestic Product. The CIA world factbook is a great resource for information like that.

GDP in 2004 Percent spent on space
USA 11.8 trillion 0.14%
Europe 11.7 trillion 0.03% (not inc. individual agencies)
Japan 3.7 trillion 0.05%
China 7.3 trillion 0.02%
Russia 1.4 trillion 0.06%
India 3.3 trillion 0.03%


It's also interesting to work out how much is spent per person:

Population Space spending per person in 2005 (what are the cost in 2016/17?)
USA 0.3 billion $54 (why is our cost per person so much higher?)
Europe 0.6 billion $5.80 (not inc. indiv agencies)
Japan 0.1 billion $18
China 1.3 billion $0.92 cents
Russia 0.1 billion $9
India 1.1 billion $0.82 cents

Considering the total budget for the world for space (~25 billion dollars), the total amount spent per person is $3.90 (working on 6.4 billion people), and the percentage of the GDP of the world which is spent on space is roughly 0.05%.

Update by Ann: We've revisited this page in June 2015, so we have some updates to share. Because of the way budgets work, we'll go back in time a little bit and look at the year 2014: that year, NASA had a total budget of about $17.6 billion. As Karen noted above, that doesn't just include human exploration but absolutely everything that NASA does. Overall for 2014, that was 0.5% of the total federal budget, so NASA's overall share of the United States budget has decreased a bit.

As for the other countries listed above, in 2014 the European Space Agency had a budget of about 4.3 billion euros, or $5.51 billion (in US dollars); the Russian Federal Space Agency had a budget of about $5.6 billion; Japan's space agency JAXA was funded at $2.03 billion; China National Space Administration (CNSA) spent about $1.3 billion; and the Indian Space Research Organisation had a budget of about $1.1 billion.

Again, as Karen noted above, there are other contributions to space-related spending in each of these situations, and not all of an agency's spending is focused on space exploration. For instance, private space flight research and development has become a major player in the United States, but that spending isn't captured by the statistics on federal spending via NASA.

Also since Karen's answer, the spaceflight programs of both India and China have really taken off (pun intended!). By 2008, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had sent a non-crewed probe to the moon, known as Chandrayaan-1. In 2013, ISRO launched an orbital mission to Mars, with successful Mars orbit achieved in 2014. This was pulled off with a very small budget of just about $72 million, for the satellite itself and all of the ground tracking and communication infrastructure needed here on Earth.

For its part, China has built and launched the Tiangong-1 space station, several crewed and uncrewed Shenzhou missions, and the Chang'e 3 lunar lander and rover.
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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