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Russians Talking Smack About “Soyuz Epoch?”

From MSNBC.com-

Russian space officials are hailing the end of the space shuttle era as the beginning of the “Soyuz epoch.” For at least the next few years, Russian Soyuz craft will serve as the only way to get back and forth from the International Space Station, and NASA will be paying up to $63 million a seat for the ride.
Russian cosmonauts will also make up half of the space station’s crews from here on out, even though NASA has paid most of the estimated $100 billion cost of construction.
The Soyuz epoch was heralded on Thursday by the Russian Federal Space Agency in a news release that also paid tribute to the shuttle era. The Russian-language report says that the shuttle fleet’s retirement marks a “new stage in the International Space Station program, in which the Russian Soyuz spaceships have no backups.”
The Russian space agency said it would be 2016 at the earliest before any other crew-capable spaceships are available for trips to the International Space Station. That’s roughly what NASA is saying as well: Its current timetable calls for commercial space taxis such as the SpaceX Dragon, the Boeing CST-100, the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser or Blue Origin’s orbital space vehicle to be ready for use sometime in the middle of the decade…

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2 Responses to “Russians Talking Smack About “Soyuz Epoch?””

  • mike shupp:

    So how long have the Russians been flying Soyuz’s? 45 years, give or take, with a very decent record (since 1968). It shows admirable perseverence. or perhaps a tad less than admirable stodginess, but at rate some quality not to be scorned. Still, for over 40 years it’s been US practice — and to be honest, US policy — to stress that Russia is Number 2 in space. We can hardly be surprised that with the retirement of the shuttle, Russians are patting themselves on the back a bit about the continued relevence of _their_ manned space program. For a while, they’ll be able to trumpet _their_ leadership, _their_ role in leading the human race to stars.

    The Soyuz Age won’t last, but the Russians have earned some bragging rights.

  • John:

    The Russians have been consistent in maintaining a basic launch vehicle for crew and cargo. Obviously Congress and NASA believed that its was not a necessity for the United States to have a basic reliable crew vehicle to access LEO no matter what program they were developing.

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