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Stranded US astronaut given ticket to ride November 10, 2005

Posted by jtintle in Astronaut, Expedition 12, International Space Station, NASA, Space News.
      NewScientist.com news service
      Kelly Young


The US Congress passed a bill on Wednesday that would allow the US to continue flying astronauts on Russian Soyuz rockets to the International Space Station.

If signed by the President George W Bush, the bill will let the US keep paying Russia for launches until 2012, the year that a US replacement for the shuttle is scheduled to be ready. At that time, Congress will review the legislation.

“NASA appreciates the efforts of Congress to resolve restrictions placed on our partnership with Russia,? says NASA administrator Michael Griffin. “Congress’s action helps to ensure the continuous presence of US astronauts on the International Space Station.?

The Iran Nonproliferation Act (INA) of 2000 was designed to prevent the spread of nuclear technologies from Russia to Iran. One clause made it illegal for the US to pay Russia for goods and services related to the space station, including Soyuz capsule rides, until the White House was satisfied that nuclear technologies were not being sold to Iran.

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