In recent time, Dmitry Rogozin—Head of Roscosmos (Russian space corporation)—held a telephone conversation with Jim Bridenstine—NASA Administrator—regarding the coming launch at the Baikonur spaceport. Rogozin stated, “I had a telephonic discussion with Jim Bridenstine. We talked about the coming launch at Baikonur and prospect joint contacts. The NASA administrator showed his enchantment over the sanction of their funding appeal for the advancement of the Moon program.”
The upcoming launch of the Soyuz MS-12 rocket to the ISS (International Space Station) is scheduled for March 14. The Soyuz rocket will transport Aleksey Ovchinin (Roscosmos cosmonaut) along with NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague to the ISS. Apparently, Ovchinin and Hague were believed to take off to the ISS in October 2018. Conversely, their flight was delayed owing to a mishap with the Soyuz-FG rocket on October 11, 2018.
Lately, NASA was in news for planning to buy additional Soyuz seats. NASA is planning to buy two extra seats on Soyuz spaceship to make sure a prolonged American presence on the ISS amid apprehensions regarding additional setbacks in commercial manned flights. In a pre-solicitation notice registered on February 13, NASA declared it was considering a contract with Roscosmos for two Soyuz seats, one for a mission launching in 2019 and the other in 2020. The extra seats would make sure that NASA astronauts can stay on the station after the year-end when NASA’s present access to Soyuz seats depletes. The procurement notice stated, “This Soyuz seat acquisition makes certain the continuous access to the ISS in the incident of a delay in the U.S. commercial crew liftoffs, mitigating the crucial risk to ISS operations and safety that the lack of the U.S. crew members at any moment in time would cause.”