NASA, Roscosmos decide on spaceflight seat-sharing

(MENAFN) The US and Russia have signed a contract to fly each other’s spacefarers to the International Space Station (ISS). The breakthrough was following months of strains and doubt over mutual space activities because of the current war in Ukraine.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos and its American fellow, NASA, stated on Friday that they have agreed on the supposed “integrated flights.” The final aim of the contract is ensuring that more than one US astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut are current at the ISS to maintain respective segments of the station, Roscosmos clarified.

“The agreement meets the interests of Russia and the United States and will promote the development of cooperation within the International Space Station program framework,” the agency declared.

A NASA spokesman, Josh Finch, stressed that “flying integrated crews ensures there are appropriately trained crew members on board the station for essential maintenance and spacewalks.” The contract is a “no-exchange-of-funds arrangement,” Finch said, and comprises all the essential training in addition to “transportation to and from the International Space Station and comprehensive mission support.”

“It also protects against contingencies such as a problem with any crew spacecraft, serious crew medical issues, or an emergency aboard the station that requires a crew and the vehicle they are assigned to return to Earth sooner than planned,” he also claimed.


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