After President Bush signed the Soyuz waiver allowing NASA to rely on Russia to transport astronauts to the International Space Station, it looks as if the space agency is seriously considering courting the private sector (aka NewSpace) at Russia's expense.
(Space.com) NASA has no intention of paying Russia to help deliver supplies to the international space station (ISS) beyond 2011 despite winning congressional and presidential approval to do so.NASA probably decided to change its tune after SpaceX's successful launch of their Falcon rocket.
"NASA's policy has not changed," NASA spokesman David Steitz said Oct. 2. "NASA will rely on U.S. commercial cargo services to resupply ISS following retirement of the shuttle, and does not intend to purchase Progress cargo services after 2011."
Even though SpaceX is still 1 in 4 (as their first three rockets failed), the US government is probably more willing to risk their future on an upcoming space company rather than a proven, yet potentially dangerous space power.
Note: Russia will probably not enjoy losing a large customer such as NASA, and this latest move may help forge an alliance between the former USSR and China (who recently completed their first space walk).
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