Sorry, SpaceX. Watch this week as NASA pays $ 90 million to launch a US astronaut on a Russian rocket

US astronauts now fly from American soil to the International Space Station (ISS), right?

So why is NASA astronaut Russia going to blow up the ISS from Russia at a cost of more than 90 million?

NASA astronaut Kate Rubin will leave Earth this week, despite the success of “Launch America” ​​on May 30, 2020, when NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley went on an ISS trip in spaceX hardware during the historic American SpaceX Crew Demo-2 mission. From the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

As I reported back in June, the final agreement between NASA and the Russian space agency to send a US astronaut to the ISS aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft is final.

When will the next rocket for ISS be launched?

Rubin will depart on Wednesday, October 14, at 1:45 a.m. EDT (Kazakhstan time 10:45 a.m.) with Cosmon .s Sergey Ryzikov and Sergei Kud-Sverkov of Rozkosmos. His two-orbit, three-hour journey will mark the start of his six-month mission on the ISS.

Where to look for rocket launches for ISS

You can tune in to the online launch by visiting NASA TV on the space agency’s website or NASA TV on YouTube:

Why is NASA paying Ast 90 million to Russia now that there is SpaceX?

NASA has been signing an agreement with Russia since 2011 to buy seats on the Soyuz spacecraft when the shuttle landed. This is his last currently contracted meeting, NASA confirmed to me last week. In fact, by amending the contract in May 2020, the seat was purchased at a cost of 90,252,905.69. These costs include training and preparation for launch, flight operations, landing and crew rescue services.

So does this mean that NASA had Plan B while SpaceX was testing its crew Dragon spacecraft last summer? NASA said in an emailed statement to me that NASA has asked our U.S. for regular crew rotation. Commercial crew partners have high confidence.

There is, however, a whole global effort, with a fresh lack of nationalism. “As the capacity of the U.S. commercial crew becomes operational, astronauts and cosmonauts should resume simultaneous flight on our respective spacecraft, consistent with previous studies,” NASA said in a statement.

Will Russian cosmonauts fly on NASA SpaceX missions?

Almost certainly – because it’s safe. A NASA statement said, “The spacecraft’s problem in orbit may require the entire crew of that spacecraft to return to Earth.” “Mixed crew dresses are mutually beneficial as they will increase the likelihood that both astronauts and cosmonauts will be on the space station performing sensitive operations.”

NASA and Roscosmos will now have at least one U.S. at any time on the ISS. And Russian crew members are discussing plans to make sure the ISS is aboard.

So, when the days of paying -90 million per seat for NASA are over, we can expect to see Russian cosmonauts on the SpaceX mission and NASA astronauts on the Soyuz mission.

What about a ‘space toilet’?

While on the ISS, Rubin will take part in numerous science experiments, although his and Crew’s biggest job will be testing NASA’s new “space toilet.”

The Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), which reached the ISS on a cargo resilience mission earlier this month, is a compact toilet with a urine transfer system that automates waste management and storage. Smaller than previous toilets, UWMS is designed for more crew members and for future missions to the moon and Mars.

“A new space toilet will be used for astronauts,” a NASA spokesman told me a few days ago. “The purpose is to test it thoroughly, and we humans need to do that.”

When is the next SpaceX mission for ISS?

Rubin’s ride is not the last time NASA astronauts will ride on Russian space hardware. On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, NASA’s mission 63 Commander Chris Kassi Sidi and Roscosmos Cosmon Anats Anatoly Ivanishin and Evan Wagner-ISS, who have been aboard the complex since April 9, 2020, will launch and enter the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft. Kazakhstan.

In a mission delayed from early November to mid-November, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission – the first scheduled private mission for the ISS – will be carried out by NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Sochi. Noguchi for ISS aboard SpaceX’s crew dragon vehicle.

You want clear skies and wide eyes.