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NASA has signed a $141 million modification to the current International
NASA has signed a $141 million modification to the current International Space Station (ISS) contract with the Russian space agency for crew transportation services planned through the spring of 2012.

In a statement posted on its official website, NASA said that "the firm-fixed price extension covers comprehensive Soyuz support, including all necessary training and preparation for launch, crew rescue, and landing of a long-duration mission for three station crew members."

"The crew members will launch on two Soyuz vehicles in the fall of 2011. They will land in the spring of 2012," the agency said, adding that the flights may be used in order to meet its obligations to its international partners for transportation to and from the ISS.

The contract extension also provides for the two Soyuz flights to transport limited amounts of cargo to and from the station and dispose of garbage.

The cargo permitted per person is around 110 pounds (50 kilograms) launched to the ISS, some 37 pounds (17 kilograms) on the return trip, and waste disposal of approximately 66 pounds (30 kilograms).


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