Science

NASA may deal for a seat on Russian Soyuz rocket, to be safe

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has been tied in with taking space explorer launches back to US soil. The SpaceX part of the program is functioning admirably, yet a NASA space traveler may in any case launch from soil in Kazakhstan.

NASA said Tuesday that it’s thinking about saving a ride to the International Space Station on a spring launch of a Russian Soyuz shuttle.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon is currently directing regular trips back and forth to the ISS, and Boeing, the other commercial crew partner, hopes to lead a second uncrewed dry run in March. SpaceX is anticipating a Crew-2 mission launch in April. NASA said these endeavors “demonstrate continued progress.”

“Securing an additional Soyuz seat assures the back-up capability of at least one U.S. crew member aboard the International Space Station in the event of a problem with either spacecraft,” the organization said in an explanation. NASA is thinking about offering in-kind services to Russia as opposed to by and large buying a Soyuz seat.

NASA is expecting to constantly have a US crew member on board the ISS. The current team return schedule could make a gap in that if SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission is deferred or doesn’t arrive at the station in April. A Soyuz seat would be a safeguard.

“At NASA, we have a phrase we use often — dissimilar redundancy. That’s NASA speak for saying we always have a back-up plan that ensures we have a path forward even if we encounter an issue with our initial approach,” said Robyn Gatens, NASA’s acting director for the ISS.

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