LAS CRUCES, N.M. — NASA expects to buy at least one more Soyuz seat from Russia to provide assured access to the International Space Station should commercial crew vehicles suffer additional delays.
In a media briefing after a visit to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, Oct. 10, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said NASA was in discussions with Roscosmos about ensuring NASA astronauts can remain on the station beyond the fall of 2020.
“We need to make sure that we do not have a day where don’t have American astronauts on the International Space Station, so we will be continuing to work with Roscosmos, which is the space agency of Russia, to ensure that we do have American astronauts on the International Space Station as an insurance policy” for commercial crew, he said.
NASA doesn’t expect to need any more Soyuz seats. At that briefing at SpaceX, Bridenstine said that the company’s Crew Dragon vehicle could be ready for a crewed test flight, known as Demo-2, as soon as the first quarter of 2020. The same day, NASA and Boeing officials at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) here said they expected Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner to be ready ...