2.5bln to keep shuttle going, 65 million to BUY a Soyuz
the only real objection to using the Russia spacecraft is cold war fears (ie, complete BS in today's real world). Russia actually offered to SELL us a complete Soyuz, including 2 cosmonots to teach NASA how to operate it, and all the launch geat, transports, towers and more...
Launching a soyuz costs less than $200 million. Maintaining the space shuttle costs 2.5-3 Billion PER YEAR!
Our replacement for the shuttle will cost a grand total of 3 Billion over 2 YEARS, not one, and can be ready for launch in 2013 with that money. (it would be ready by March 2015 without that 3 billion, that's just what it costs to speed up the process). That craft will cost significantly less than a Soyuz for each launch.
We could BUY a WHOLE NEW Soyuz and launch it OURSELVES, without any russian involvement, and THROW IT AWAY after each launch, save the 3 billion extra for the new rockets and plan on the 2015 date already accepted by NASA and Congress, and we'd save nearly 10 BILLION over 5 years vs trying to keep the space shuttle running even HALF the time until 2013...
This is old school mistrust from the cold war taking billions out of your tax paying pockets. We have NO FEAR of Russia today (they're MANY times more dependent on us thatn we are of their space shuttle.
The ONLY think keeping us from buying and operating out OWN soyuz rockets is a STUPID law banning the purchase of spacecraft from Russia, China, and a few other countries... Instead of passing a law to spend 5.5 billion over the next 2 years, they should have simply repealed the older law and SAVED us that money.
It should be criminal for our congressmen to be so fucking retarted, as it should equally be a crime for allowing uninformed voters to keep them in office. Can I get a term limit over here???