The Russian crew on the International space station (ISS) will work in a reduced composition to 2018 because of the postponement of the launch of the multipurpose laboratory module “Nauka”. About it reports on Sunday, November 6, Lenta.ru citing a source at the cosmodrome Baikonur.
“Now the Russian space Agency is scheduling the launch for 2017 year, and developed the Manifesto launches of the start of the module moved to the middle — second half of 2018. In this regard, the “shortened” Russian ISS crew will operate the station until at least mid-2018, and, consequently, on the ship “Soyuz MS-08″ (the start is scheduled for March 2018, the year) kicks off two members of the crew — one Russian and one foreigner,” — said the Agency interlocutor.
The source also suggested that Roscosmos will try to sell available seats on the Soyuz spacecraft delivering crews to the ISS, their colleagues from other countries or space tourists. Currently, one seat on the “Union” and a ten-day stay at the station cost about $ 52 million.
In September it was reported that in the spring of 2017 to the ISS will be not three but only two cosmonauts. The reduction was due to the US decision to abandon the Russian cargo ships “Progress” in favor of their own devices, which they will run is not four but three times a year.
As such, the number of flights per year is not enough to supply three regularly orbiting astronauts, their number is proposed to be reduced prior to the commissioning of the multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) Nauka. It was planned to launch by the end of next year. In this case, the reduction would spread to only one Russian crew.
Earlier intention to reduce the number of the Russian crew of the ISS for the sake of economy and effectiveness studies reported by the Director of piloted programs of Roskosmos Sergey Krikalev.