$ 3.9 billion
paid NASA Russia for flights to the ISS for 13 years
Between 2006 and 2020, NASA spent $ 3.9 billion on flights to the ISS. In total, the Americans bought 70 seats in the Russian “Union”. This is stated in the report of the chief inspector of the agency Paul Martin.
The average cost of space in the ship was 55.4 million dollars. At the same time, over time, it grew from $ 21.3 million to $ 86 million.
The most expensive contract for NASA was the purchase of 12 additional seats at Soyuz in 2017. Then the agency paid about a billion dollars.
In the near future, NASA expects to abandon the “Unions” in favor of the ships of American companies. One of the most likely replacement candidates is the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
On March 2, the company first launched the spacecraft to the ISS without people, but with a dummy for testing, and on March 8 it landed . If further tests succeed, NASA can switch to it to deliver people to the station.
Unlike Unions, Crew Dragon can carry up to seven people at a time and can be used multiple times. Because of this, SpaceX will be much more profitable for NASA than the one-time Unions, in which only three astronauts are accommodated
According to Russian cosmonautics expert Vadim Lukashevich, Crew Dragon will be a serious blow to Roscosmos. The state corporation received 400 million dollars a year for launches of foreigners, but now it will lose this earnings. At the same time, the launches were “free” for Russia: even one foreign astronaut more than paid for the cost of the ship, preparation and launch.
According to a NASA report, from January 2020, Roscosmos plans to reduce launches on the ISS from two to one in six months. Moreover, if the agency does not switch to commercial flights by this time, then there may not be any places in the Soyuz.