$70 Million Per Seat is What Russia Charges NASA

$70 million per seat: NASA criticized U.S. lawmakers for having to pay an average of more than $70 million per seat to Russia to send astronauts into space.

APE CANAVERAL, Fla.—NASA is blaming Congress for the need to pay $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space.

NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday. The $424 millionrepresents flights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as training, for six astronauts in 2016 and 2017.

That’s $70.6 million per seat — well above the previous price tag of about $63 million.

Several U.S. companies are working on rockets and spacecraft to launch Americans from U.S. soil. But that’s still a few years away.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says if Congress had approved the space agency’s request for more funding for its commercial space effort, this contract would have been unnecessary.

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