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NASA Extends Contract with Russian Space Agency

NASA announced this week that it extended its contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos. With the space shuttle scheduled to retire from service next year, NASA is in need of the crew and heavy lifting capabilities that the Russian’s can provide to support the International Space Station.

According to NASA’s website, the new deal includes “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.” The US$306 million deal will involve four launches by the Roscosmos Soyuz program.

NASA and Russia previously agreed to a US$719 million deal in 2007 that included 15 seats and 5.6 tons of cargo to be transported on Soyuz flights to the orbital site Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.

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