Now that the U.S. is retiring its shuttle fleet, Russia seems to be embracing the concept of supply and demand. Can’t really blame the Russians for taking advantage of the situation, but still … yikes:
The new deal will allow NASA to fly a dozen astronauts from the U.S. or its partner agencies on Russia’s venerable Soyuz spacecraft between 2014 and 2015 at a cost of about $62.7 million per seat. That’s an increase from the $55.8 million per seat NASA paid under a deal for six round trips to the station in 2013 and 2014.
At least we’re on friendly terms with them now. I remember what a big deal it was back in 1984 to portray American astronauts hitching a lift with the Soviets in the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. But nobody ever thought they’d be fleecing us someday just for a ride to the International Space Station.
Happily, this is not a permanent arrangement. NASA’s priority for 2015 and beyond is to have private American companies develop spacecraft to deliver our astronauts into space, at which point it’s dasvidaniya to the Russians.
- 2010: The Year We Make Contact