NASA will keep using Russian Soyuz ferry craft

January 27, 2015 11:12 PM

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NASA will keep using Russian Soyuz ferry craft

NASA hopes to begin launching U.S. and partner astronauts to the space station aboard Boeing and SpaceX ferry craft in the 2017 timeframe, but agency managers expect to continue sending crew members up aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft -- and Russian cosmonauts aloft aboard U.S. vehicles -- as a hedge against problems, like crew illness, that could force some station crew members to make an emergency return to Earth.

Without mixed crews, an illness could force everyone who came up with the sick crew member to depart aboard the vehicle that brought them to the station. If it was a U.S. or partner crew member, everyone who launched with that astronaut aboard a Boeing or SpaceX ferry craft would have to return to E...

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