Latest in Tomorrow

Image credit: AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

Russia is making more Soyuz spacecraft to help NASA's ISS missions

NASA warned it might need help for the next year or two.
263 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

While the US wants to reduce its dependence on Russian rockets, Russia itself is expecting to help for a while yet. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin recently ordered the construction of two more Soyuz MS spacecraft, one of which will help NASA deliver astronauts to the International Space Station. The decision follows a letter from NASA director Jim Bridenstine warning of a delay in starting American commercial spacecraft flights. The US may need extra seats in 2020 and 2021, Rogozin said, and this extra spacecraft will help in a pinch.

The other Soyuz vessel would be used for a space tourist flight due in late 2021, although this would help free resources for other missions.

Not surprisingly, Russia used the order as a chance to criticize American planning. The country reportedly warned the US that it should have asked for more seats in advance in case its target of a spring 2020 commercial flight didn't pan out. It takes "at least" two years for Energia to make a Soyuz spacecraft, Rogozin said.

This isn't necessarily a sign of serious trouble for the US. SpaceX is still hoping for a Crew Dragon trip in early 2020, and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner might not be far behind. However, the extra construction suggests there may not be a rapid transition toward all-American launches -- the two countries might have to cooperate for a while yet.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
263 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Stanford publishes its massive Apple Watch heart-rate study

Stanford publishes its massive Apple Watch heart-rate study

View
SpaceX successfully completes Crew Dragon engine tests without an explosion

SpaceX successfully completes Crew Dragon engine tests without an explosion

View
Walmart's early Black Friday deal: 512GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro for $599

Walmart's early Black Friday deal: 512GB 10.5-inch iPad Pro for $599

View
Motorola's revived RAZR is a fashion-forward foldable

Motorola's revived RAZR is a fashion-forward foldable

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr