NASA extends contract on using Russian Soyuz spacecraft to deliver astronauts to ISS - Roscosmos
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and NASA have reached preliminary agreements on delivering foreign astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on board Russian Soyuz spacecraft after 2016, chief of Roscosmos's manned spaceflight programs Alexei Krasnov told Interfax-AVN.
"The existing contract envisions the use of Russian Soyuzes for delivering astronauts to the ISS in the period up to 2017, but a Roscosmos delegation reached an agreement with NASA on extending the agreement to the end of 2017. Foreign astronauts will fly along with Russian cosmonauts on board our Soyuzes in 2017 and slightly longer," Krasnov said.
NASA expects that commercial manned spacecraft will carry out one or two test flights to the ISS at the end of 2017, Krasnov said. However, before the completion of the entire set of safety tests, these spacecraft would not be used to send people into space, and NASA will use Russian Soyuzes for this purpose, he said.