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Russia signed deal with NASA to ferry astronauts

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A file photo of International Space Station (ISS)>

MOSCOW (BNS): NASA will give USD 306 million to Russian space agency for sending its astronauts to International Space Station (ISS) in 2012.

The deal covers four Soyuz launches -- two in spring 2012, and another two in fall 2012. It provides for post-flight rehabilitation of crewmembers, limited cargo transit to the ISS, and trash disposal, RIA Novosti reported.

According to NASA, the new contract includes, comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, crew rescue, and landing of a long-duration mission for six individual station crew members.

Russia would be charging NASA USD 51 million for each seat on Soyuz spacecraft travelling to the ISS from 2012, the report said quoting a Roscosmos official.

Soyuz will be the only mean of delivering astronauts to the ISS by Russian space agency as NASA programme for the development of its new generation space shuttle is delayed till 2014, as said by Russian media.

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