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Sat, May 30, 2009

NASA, Russia Extend Space Contract

Soyuz Service Available Through 2013

NASA has signed a $306 million modification to the current International Space Station contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency for crew transportation and related services in 2012 and 2013.

The firm-fixed price modification covers comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, crew rescue, and landing of a long-duration mission for six individual station crew members.

Space station crew members will launch on four Soyuz vehicles: two in spring 2012 and two in fall 2012. Their landings are scheduled for fall 2012 and spring 2013, respectively. The contract changes also provide for crew post-flight rehabilitation, medical exams and services.

Under the revised contract, the Soyuz flights will carry limited cargo to and from the station, and dispose of trash. The cargo allowed per person is approximately 110 pounds launched to the station, approximately 37 pounds returned to Earth, and trash disposal of approximately 66 pounds.

Three new crew members arrived at the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz vehicle at 0834 EDT Friday following a Wednesday launch from Kazakhstan. Flight engineers Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk and Frank De Winne spent two days in space aboard the Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft before docking to the earth-facing port of the Zarya module.  It marks the first time all 5 of the ISS partner agencies are represented onboard at the same time.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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