Cape Canaveral: NASA is blaming Congress for the need to pay $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space.
NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday. The $424 million represents flights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as training, for six astronauts in 2016 and 2017.
That's $70.6 million per seat - well above the previous price tag of about $63 million.
Several U.S. companies are working on rockets and spacecraft to launch Americans from U.S. soil. But that's still a few years away.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says if Congress had approved the space agency's request for more funding for its commercial space effort, this contract would have been unnecessary.
Story First Published: April 30, 2013 23:26 IST