NASA will abandon the Russian "Soyuz" for flights to the ISS in 2019

NASA may refuse to purchase seats in Soyuz to send astronauts to the ISS in the next year.
03.08.2018
RBC
Origin source
Company SpaceX Ilona Mask is planning to conduct the first manned flight in April 2019. This is evidenced by the data published on the NASA website. Attention to them drew Bloomberg.

In this case, SpaceX will outstrip its competitor - Boeing, which planned the first manned space flight flight in mid-2019. However, the launch dates have already been repeatedly postponed.

Both companies report to NASA, as they participate in its program to develop private manned spacecraft for the delivery of astronauts to the International Space Station (Commercial Crew Program). The space agency allocated more than $ 8 billion for the implementation of this program, some of which went to the development of ships. The program for supporting private companies is necessary for NASA to enable the United States to again independently send astronauts to the ISS. So far, the ship, capable of delivering the crew to the ISS, is only in Russia ("Soyuz").

On Friday, August 3, NASA will announce the astronauts who will fly on the ships of SpaceX and Boeing. The ships will be launched on Falcon and Atlas V launch vehicles, respectively.

The performance of the NASA program was previously criticized. So, the US GAO in its report for July noted that SpaceX and Boeing do not have time to certify ships on time and, probably, none of the companies will be ready to conduct manned launches before August 2020.

The importance of the program in time is due to the fact that NASA bought seats in the Soyuzes until November 2019. Places are bought in advance (their NASA bought in 2017), and the process of buying additional seats can stretch for three years, said GAO. In a comment for Bloomberg, the NASA representative refused to answer the question whether the agency was discussing the purchase of additional seats in Soyuz.