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Wed, Apr 23, 2014

NASA Sending Over $450 Million To Russia For ISS Transport

Payment Comes Despite 'Sanctions' Against The Country For Its Actions In Crimea

Despite announced sanctions against Russia for their annexation of Crimea, the U.S. Government still needs a way to get astronauts to and from the International Space Station ... and Russia has the planet's only taxi medallion.

And that's where supply and demand kicks in. Russia has the supply. The U.S. has the demand, and Russia can charge pretty much what ever price they like for the coveted seats aboard their Soyuz spacecraft. That price works out to about $71 million per seat going from the U.S taxpayer to Russia ... or just a touch under $458 million for the next six launches, according to the Washington Post's Politics blog.

ANN readers know well that the first of the Commercial Crew spacecraft likely won't be ready to ferry astronauts to ISS until at least 2017, so until then, it's pay Russia or stay ground-bound. And, of course, politics is right in the mix.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden (or someone writing under his name) last month chided Congress on a NASA blog for not fully funding President Obama's budget request for the agency. "The choice moving forward is between fully funding the President's request to bring space launches back to American soil or continuing to send millions to the Russians," Bolden wrote. "It's that simple."

(Image provided by NASA)

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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