NASA has not asked the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos so far to think of extending the contract for ferrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station with Soyuz carrier rockets beyond 2016, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin told the press on Wednesday.
"The idea is being discussed, but the discussions have been very cautious. Roscosmos is prepared to consider such proposals, and is waiting for their official arrival. We understand that this issue will become a subject of talks sooner or later," he said. Popovkin said he had visited the SpaceX company which implements NASA orders. "I cannot say I was overly impressed, but we could learn much from them, especially rational approaches and effectiveness," he said. Popovkin also said that he met at Baikonur with William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for space operations, but joint projects were not discussed.
Gersteinamier earlier said that NASA plans to buy places aboard Soyuz carrier rockets to ferry astronauts to the ISS after 2016 and to hold talks on that with Russia.
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