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posted by janrinok on Friday August 19 2016, @09:07PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the job-cuts-in-space! dept.

NASA has confirmed that the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos is mulling whether or not to continue staffing the International Space Station with its usual complement of astronauts.

Last week the Russian newspaper Izvestia quoted Sergei Krikalev, director of manned programs at Roscosmos, saying that the agency had approached NASA about reducing its standard ISS crew count from three to two. Russia has had three astronauts on rotation in the ISS since 2010, but apparently that will be changing.

Krikalev said that delays in building the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), the nodal unit (a structural join), and the scientific and power module – let alone lofting them into orbit – meant there was no need for three local astronauts on station. Cutting one would save money and allow Russia to auction off the place to space tourists.

"We'll look at it as we do with all these kind of things – we'll trade it against whatever risk that might put into the program, first and foremost the risk to our crew onboard, and the station itself. From there, we start looking at the options and see what we can do as a partnership to either accommodate it or help them realize why that's a bad thing."

[...] To make life more difficult, the Russians can no longer bank on getting cash from NASA for astronaut delivery past 2017. SpaceX should be ready to start sending crew to the ISS by then and Boeing is planning flights by 2018, so the $80m per launch Roscosmos was getting will no longer be coming in.


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NASA Intends to Privatize International Space Station 33 comments

NASA may sell/lease parts of the International Space Station in the next decade:

NASA has signalled its intention to offload the International Space Station (ISS) some time in the 2020s. News of the sale appeared in the video below, at about the 14:15 mark [YouTube] when Bill Hill, NASA's deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, ponders the ISS' role in future missions.

"Ultimately our desire is to hand the space station to either a commercial entity or some other commercial capability so that research can continue in low-Earth orbit. We figure that will be around the mid-20s."

Hill and the other speakers in the video explain how NASA is preparing for a crewed Mars mission and outline how the agency is now well and truly in the market for ideas about how to get it done.

Also at SpaceFlight Insider and TechCrunch.

Related:
Russia to Build New Space Station with NASA after ISS
Russia Investigates Downsizing Space Station Crew From Three to Two


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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @09:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @09:15PM (#390296)

    Musky should totally send a robot, to prove capitalist pigbots can survive in space.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday August 19 2016, @09:48PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday August 19 2016, @09:48PM (#390311) Homepage

      It would probably end in a crash and explosion after entering autopilot mode.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @01:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @01:40AM (#390383)

      Musky the Muscovite?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @10:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @10:25PM (#390320)

    nt

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @11:30PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 19 2016, @11:30PM (#390333)

      Perhaps we could open a window? You could shout it towards Moscow.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @12:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @12:51AM (#390365)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @01:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @01:05AM (#390373)

      Propulsion of last resort during a spacewalk emergency? Oh it's meant to be used against bears on the ground. How boring.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @02:52AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @02:52AM (#390406)

    You think this is bad? In America, the biggest switch vendor just laid off 20 percent!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @10:32AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 20 2016, @10:32AM (#390544)

    I can see this "International Space Station" from my viewing location on the surface of the Earth when i am, like, 20 degrees into the night.

    This is not consistent with a bunch of reflective tubes and panels @400 km over the surface shining sunlight back to me. Or moonlight. Or city light.

    And, wait, Russian life becomes "more difficult" without NASA funding? Yeah, right.