Elon Musk says it’s ’embarrassing’ to have to ask Russia for rides to space

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Because of the crisis in the Ukraine, some people are questioning what the tension between the U.S. and Russia may lead to. Will it affect the International Space Station? Probably not, but the United State relies on Russian Soyuz missions to carry its astronauts to and from the station since 2011.

?Right now, everything is normal in our relationship with the Russians. I think people lose track of the fact that we have occupied the International Space Station now for 13 consecutive years uninterrupted, and that has been through multiple international crises,? stated NASA Administrator Charles Borden in an interview with CBS.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is not happy with the current state of our dependence on Russia though. ?We?re being forced to pay over $70 million dollars per seat to the Russians just to go to the Space Station and they have us over a barrel,? said Musk in an interview with Bloomberg TV. ?Being at Putin?s mercy is not a good place to be so we want to have restored the American ability to transport astronauts to the space station, maybe beyond, someday and do so as soon as possible? it?s just kind of embarrassing that the United States has to thumb rides from the Russians.?

SpaceX has completed three unmanned cargo missions to the International Space Station with the Dragon capsule. Orbital Sciences in Virginia completed two cargo missions to the space station. The Dragon capsule is expected to have its first manned flight in 2015. The next Dragon unmanned launch is going to happen on March 16th.

[Source: Forbes]