NASA will not be able to abandon the Russian "Unions" by 2017
The US Congress did not increase the budget for "commercial flights" into space when discussing the budget of the NASA space agency for 2016. This budget is used by SpaceX under the control of Ilon Mask, which is supposed to replace the Shuttle in terms of delivering people to orbit. The refusal to increase funding means that the project will be postponed for another two years. The majority of those who voted “against” are members of the Republican Party.
SpaceX asked Congress for a 37% increase in the annual budget, which is already $ 900 million. But NASA made a statement back in early 2015, according to which the agency plans to buy seats in Soyuz from Russia to deliver its astronauts to the ISS in 2018. Apparently, the agency did not believe in advance the success of the request for an increase in the budget.
Agency administrator Charles Bolden expressed his regret over this decision of Congress: “By curtailing this program and turning away from the American industry, NASA will have to rely on Russia to deliver astronauts into space and continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the Russian economy instead of the US” . Each US astronaut pays $ 75 million for delivery to the ISS.
The SpaceX program was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal and an investor in Tesla Motors, with the goal of creating spacecraft. The company developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles, from the very beginning with the goal of making them reusable, and the Dragon spaceship, designed to replenish stocks on the ISS.
$ 900 million is allocated annually to develop the Dragon version for transporting people . from the US budget. The refusal to increase funding pushes the appearance of this version of the ship until at least 2019.