Excerpted from, “NASA’s Commercial Crew Program: Update on Development and Certification Efforts,” NASA Office of Inspector General, Report No. IG-16-028, September 1, 2016
Russian Crew Transportation Services Have Been Costly
Until a domestic commercial crew capacity is available, NASA will continue to rely on Russia to transport crew to the ISS. As shown in Figure 4, the roundtrip cost for a seat on the Soyuz has increased approximately 384 percent over the last decade from $21.3 million in 2006 to $81.9 million under the most recent contract modification signed in August 2015. Under the 2015 contract, NASA will pay approximately $491.2 million for six seats in 2018.
Table 3 shows the total number of Soyuz seats NASA has contracted for and the total cost of those seats by calendar year.
Had the Agency met its original goal of securing commercial crew transportation by calendar year 2015, NASA could have avoided paying Russia close to $1 billion for Soyuz seats in 2017 and 2018, even factoring in the purchase of some seats in 2016 to cover the expected transition period.