In April 2019, the program of the Russian Federation and the United States to send American astronauts into space on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft comes to an end. This was told by Yuri Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, as part of a meeting at the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation.
After shutting down the program "Shuttle" NASA is faced with a serious problem in the form of the lack of space ships to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station. The Russian side came to the rescue, having agreed to provide their vehicles. This went on for quite a long time, until private companies began to develop at a remarkable pace in North America, especially SpaceX, the outstanding designer and entrepreneur Ilon Mask. The US department realized that it was necessary to cooperate with such guys, which resulted in the support program for private astronautics, for which $ 8 billion was allocated.
American-made spacecraft designed to replace the Soyuz are almost ready. Ilon Mask recently reported that the first test flights will be conducted in the spring of 2019. In addition, in the middle of 2019, SpaceX will test its offspring and its main competitor, Boeing.
In early August, NASA announced who will be members of the crew of the Dragon ship, created by Mask, and CTS-100 Starliner of Boeing Corporation. The agency stressed that this will be a significant event for the United States, since 8 years have passed since the moment when American astronauts were delivered to the ISS using domestic technology.
After the Shuttle program was closed, the monopoly on the market of manned space flights passed into the hands of Roskosmos and the Russian corporation Energia. NASA was forced to spend huge amounts of money, acquiring space for its astronauts on the Soyuz spacecraft. In the past three years alone, the United States has had to fork out nearly a billion dollars as part of its forced cooperation with Russia.