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Comment Re:How the hell can you bump NASA? (Score 3, Insightful) 242

This is supply and demand in action. The Russians have been granted a (possibly temporary) monopoly on the supply of transport services to the International Space Station. They have in turn, decided to sell seats to the highest bidder. The Russians have been selling access to the ISS for some time now, and it is not their problem that NASA has decided to discard their manned spaceflight capabilities with no alternate method of getting there.

I do not believe that the United States has any kind of say over who the Russians elect to send (though I am happy to be corrected on this if there is official rules to that effect), nor do i believe that they are required to give preferential treatment to NASA coming in at a lower price than what the market will bear, since if they did, they would have prevented other private passengers from doing this previously. They have voice their displeasure over private passengers, but have been unable to do anything about it.

Also if NASA is thoroughly displeased about this situation then in the true nature of capitalism they can vote with their wallets, and attempt to procure their transport services elsewhere and cease to purchase any transport services from the Russians. What? There's no one else that can do this? Tough noogies.

As to profit/subsidies etc, the Russians have been using the venerable Soyuz rocket for decades now and have always ran their space program on a shoestring budget. They are quite efficient at producing them and I would believe that they make a reasonable profit selling those seats off (people previously have paid $40 million for a ride) and wouldn't think that their is a subsidy provided by NASA, as going against their wishes and potentially losing that subsidy would not be a profitable move. Since neither of us have factual support to our respective arguments, we'll probably have to let that go.

In short, if NASA wanted to procure that spot, they should have bid higher.

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