Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fun While We Lasted

clipped from

When America shows weakness, the rest of the world pounces, like sharks smelling blood in the water. Case in point: the price for flying to space with the Russians will soon double.

NASA on Tuesday signed a contract to pay $55.8 million per astronaut for six Americans to fly into space on Russian Soyuz capsules in 2013 and 2014. NASA needs to get rides on Russian rockets to the International Space Station because it plans to retire the space shuttle fleet later this year.

NASA now pays half as much, about $26.3 million per astronaut, when it uses Russian ships. NASA spokesman John Yembrick said the cost is going up because Russia has to build more capsules for the extra flights. NASA had already agreed to pay as much as $51 million a seat for flights in 2011 and 2012, before the latest increase.

Good thing we're not using all of that saved NASA funding to do something productive, like investing in the next generation of spaceflight or even paying off our national debt.

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