NASA has purchased two seats on Russian Soyuz capsules due to launch this year and in early 2018 and has reserved options for flights in 2019 if US commercial launches are not available in time.

The two Soyuz places for 2017 were originally intended for Russian cosmonauts but become vacant after the Russian Roscosmos space agency decided to temporarily reduce its crew complement on the International Space Station from three to two. If NASA exercises options for all five available seats, the deal is valued at $373.5m.

3 March 2017