Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Cost of transporting one American to space station: about $63 million

Traveling to space station costly

I read in the Times that Russia would charge us $50 million to carry one American to the space station. Did we charge for all those non-Americans we have carried to this craft? Wasn't the space station primarily constructed by the United States?

That $50 million has now become almost $63 million per flight, according to ( russia-50-million-astronaut).

The United States has a contract with Russia to pay $752 million for six seats a year in 2014 and 2015. The costs cover training, preparation and landing. The United States has had a contract with the Russians to carry astronauts since 1993.

NASA has not charged any countries to fly its astronauts or citizens on shuttle flights, according to an agency spokesman.

The International Space Station, which is scheduled to be completed in 2012, is a joint project of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (RSA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the 11 nations that make up the European Space Agency (ESA).

NASA will have spent $37 billion on the space station through 2012, it says, and does not have the contributions of the other partners. ESA has said the total cost of the space station will be about $100 billion.

Congressmen get boot, benefits

When someone serving in Congress is forced to resign, what benefits is he entitled to upon resignation?

Unless your theoretical member of Congress has been convicted of certain offenses committed during the period of service when the annuity was earned, he or she is entitled to whatever benefits accrued while serving in Congress.

Those excluding offenses are:

• Bribery of public officials and witnesses.

• Acting as an agent of a foreign principal while a federal public official.

• Conspiracy to commit an offense or to defraud the United States.

• Perjury and subornation of perjury.

Here's an example: Rep. David Wu, a Democrat from Oregon who was first elected in 1998, resigned this month after a report that he had initiated an "unwanted sexual encounter" with a teenager. The National Journal reported that Wu, 56, was eligible for an immediate annual pension of $23,871.

Representatives and senators elected after 1984 typically participate in the federal retirement program and pay 1.3 percent of their salaries into the program. They also pay into and collect Social Security, and can put money into the Thrift Savings Plan, in which the government matches contributions up to 5 percent of salary.

You can read more about the retirements benefits for members of Congress at

Q&A: Cost of transporting one American to space station: about $63 million 08/28/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.