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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Russia May Refuse to Return U.S. Astronaut to Earth Free of Charge

Gregory Olsen / Photo from http://www.spaceadventures.com/

Gregory Olsen / Photo from http://www.spaceadventures.com/

This article is very funny to me... Expedition 12 just left for the International Space Station less then 24 hours ago, even carrying a Space Tourist (or as he prefers, a Space Traveller) and Russia decided to wait until now to tell us this? Haha...

Beginning from the next space expedition Russia will deliver U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station only on commercial basis. William McArthur who has just left for ISS can stay in orbit until the American side pays for his return, RIA Novosti reported.

“Russia has met all the engagements on transferring NASA employees to the ISS. Formally, we even do not have to return McArthur to the Earth,” Russia’s space agency Roskosmos senior official Alexey Krasnov said.

After NASA grounded its shuttle fleet in July, having failed to fix a technical problem that killed seven astronauts in 2003, only Russian Soyuz spacecraft bear the responsibility for ferrying people and supplies to the $100-billion station.

The snag is that trade sanctions linked to U.S. fears that Russian technology and know-how could help Iran develop nuclear weapons mean NASA cannot pay Roskosmos.

U.S. lawmakers are considering lifting the ban. Nobody expects McArthur to spin round space forever.

Article taken from Mosnews.com


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