17:36 GMT +316 October 2019
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    The International Space Station (ISS) uses a modular design first perfected by Soviet engineers in the 1980s.

    NASA, Roscosmos in Talks on More Soyuz Seats to Maintain US Presence on ISS Through 2020

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NASA is in talks with Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos to purchase additional space on Soyuz spacecraft to deliver US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) after the spring of 2020, said Maxim Kharlamov, first deputy head of the Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow.

    On Monday, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an interview with CNN that because of the constant delays in the first launches of new US piloted spacecraft, NASA is likely to buy additional space on Soyuz spacecraft in 2020 to ensure the presence of its astronauts on the orbital outpost.

    "Negotiations are already underway," Kharlamov said, answering the question whether NASA is negotiating with Roscosmos the purchase of additional space on Soyuz spacecraft after the spring of 2020.

    The last place NASA has acquired so far is on the Soyuz MS-16, which will be launched on March 20, 2020. It will ensure that at least one US astronaut stays on the ISS until the fall of 2020.

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    Soyuz, Roscosmos, NASA
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