US space agency NASA commenced its work this week on reassembling parts of the International Space Station (ISS) in order to create parking spots for its two space taxis that would be used in the commercial purposes.
With the recent dust-ups between Russia and the United States bringing the focus back on the ISS arrangements of the two nations.
NASA’s reconfiguration is the first major revamping of the International Space Station (ISS) that was completed in the year 2011 following over a decade of space shuttle-based assembly missions.
The reconfiguration of ISS is likely to be finished before the end of this year.
With space station construction work completed, the American space agency has retired a number of its space shuttles and has now turned to Russia for the crew ferry flights, a service costing the US over USD 70 million a person.
Kathy Lueders, NASA’s commercial crew program manager, said, “The agency is expecting to pay its American operators an average USD 58 million a person for the transportation purpose to and from the ISS.”
Hoping to end its reliance on Russia before 2017-end, NASA had awarded several contracts to and Space Exploration Technologies (Space X) and Boeing in order to develop, test and fly the space capsules that can take astronauts to and from the ISS, which is orbiting nearly 260 miles above the Earth.