With no alternative, NASA spent nearly $4 BILLION to fly astronauts aboard Russian Soyuz to ISS & “overpaid” Boeing for no reason
US space explorers have added up exactly how much money has gone to buy ‘seats’ on Soyuz vehicles, as its partners SpaceX and “overpaid” Boeing failed to meet the deadlines on NASA’s manned spaceflight programs.
Over the past two decades, NASA spent $3.9 billion to transport 70 astronauts aboard Soyuz spacecraft to and from the International Space Station (ISS), the agency said in its audit report, published on Thursday.
The US also had previously used the Space Shuttle to deliver crews to the station but that program was terminated in 2011, after two of the orbiters exploded mid-flight, killing a total of 14 people. The Russian-made vehicles have since remained the only means of transportation ‘up there’ for NASA.
The agency, meanwhile, remains determined to switch to conducting its own manned flights without the help of Moscow sometime in the future. However, the promising projects in partnership with Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX proved to be “several years behind its planned operational date,” NASA said.
“Both contractors have a variety of technical and safety issues to address before they are cleared to provide crew transportation to the ISS,” the agency’s Office of Inspector General wrote, arguing that NASA had actually “overpaid” Boeing $187 million to prepare manned missions to the ISS.
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