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The STS orbiter wasn't able to stay on orbit for very long, and the ISS had an SOP of having a return seat for each body on the station, so during the years of the Shuttle performing crew rotation Soyuz provided the seats down in an emergency.

What was the cost to NASA (or the west) for this service (and was it cash, or BIK?)

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  • $\begingroup$ Because they canceled the X-38 and the CRV programs, NASA contracted Energia for improvements to the Soyuz-TM (improved parachute systems, new crew couches, etc) for it to service the ISS so it became Soyuz-TMA. Because the TMA could only have 3 people on board, this limited the occupants of the ISS to 3 people. However, with expedition 20 they were able to have 6 people because they had 2 docked at the same time. $\endgroup$ – Duck May 28 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ What is "BIK" ? $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble May 29 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ "Benefits in Kind" or exchange of services @OrganicMarble (like NASA took Eurpoean astronauts to the ISS in exchange for ESA flying ATVs there $\endgroup$ – user40799 Jun 1 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification! $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 1 at 13:14

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