back to article What goes up, Musk come down... and up and down and up and down: NASA details followup Dragon pod trips to orbiting station

Ahead of a Dragon capsule bringing home a pair of astronauts from the International Space Station this weekend, NASA shared more details of followup crewed missions to and from the orbiting science lab using the SpaceX pod. In May, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were the first American astronauts to ride an American-made …

  1. EveryTime

    I appreciate the completeness of the story. Just as I was questioning when the next Russian cosmonaut was scheduled to fly, I read the answer in the next paragraph.

    My unanswered question is if the Russians can afford to fly to the ISS without NASA paying for everything plus a dacha or two. If not, and our trampoline doesn't break a spring, when and how will the replacement cosmonauts fly?

    1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      It may even be somewhat cheaper total BOM plus launch costs, and necessary additions, I honestly don't know. I do know we are getting additional seats and cargo versus Russian missions.

      1. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

        The additional seats will hopefully be useful in the near-ish future (and will bring down the price per seat), right now there's no need to launch seven people at the same time.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Rogozin did make the point that the Soyuz launcher is a smaller rocket than the Falcon used to launch the Dragon. Wages in Russia are also lower - but I can't believe that these are going to be enough to offset the advantage of not throwing away your rockets and capsules. I guess the Russians have also spread their R&D costs over many more launches - and I bet they don't have to do as much paperwork as SpaceX either...

        But that's ignoring the fact that Dragon uses a larger rocket because it can carry twice as many people as Soyuz, if required. And also, by standardising on one rocket, SpaceX must have some economies of scale - which is the downside of having lots of different launchers for different sizes of payload. Particularly when you don't throw your rocket away after you've used it.

        1. JCitizen Bronze badge


          I look at it this way; not only does Dragon carry more passengers, but the money is going into our economy and not an oligarchy that is barely friendly to us in the 1st place. The Russians kinda shit in their own kitchen though, as NASA had plans to still use them for other types of launches as well as backup; but that cry baby over there ruined that possibility for now. So they crapped in their own mess kit, as far as I'm concerned.

          1. John Jennings Bronze badge

            Re: Also..

            Actually, the US paid for another 2 seats on Soyuz back in May. Keeping their options open for now.

            Total build, supply and crewed missions to iss now are

            US - 34 shuttle/30 other (including Dragon)

            USSR - 79 progress and 60 soyuz

            others (ESA and Japan) - 15

            Soyuz/progress still do most of the regular resupply. Russia also provides the emergency crew recovery options - there is always at least 2 russian ships docked with ISS. These are also used to bump ISS orbit each month with burns.

            The one to watch at the moment is China - it has also launched 25 times this year, and god knows what they are doing....

  2. randomengineer

    Has anyone heard what the plan is regarding the incoming tropical storm? Splashdown could be a great deal more exciting than anticipated.

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