With the United States phasing out the shuttle program, the new way for U.S. astronauts to get to the International Space Station will be to catch a ride with the Russians, and NASA's existing contract for that transport priced each rocket ride at just under $56 million.
Now, Russia is hiking the price for each rocket ride to nearly $63 million in 2014. The contract extension with the Russian Space Agency totals $753 million, which covers trips for a dozen astronauts from 2014 through 2016.
Private American space companies should take over where NASA left off.
If indeed the NASA shuttle program was riskier due to "aging spacecraft" then it's high time we research and develop a new program. Longer range re-usable shuttles with better fuel capacity would be a good start.... then again our schools aren't turning out the engineers and scientists needed for these endeavors are they now?
Honestly, the space program has delivered so much technology to us - and we have benefited so much from our space exploration, that it is really sad to see American space travel seemingly at the mercy of other countries.
It seems to me we are losing our competitive edge in space.
That is a tragedy.
And an expensive one at that.