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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NASA Offers Space Station a Boost

U.S. and Russian officials agreed on a $719 million extension to their joint space program that will help put 15 crew members on the international space station over the next four years, NASA said in a statement.

The extra U.S. cash allows NASA to tap into Russian transportation systems, including a docking cargo module. The deal will also help the United States add to and remove hardware from the space station. In 2010, NASA plans to ship 1.4 tons of cargo onboard a Russian module.

In addition, the price extension helps pay for putting six U.S. crew members aboard the station in 2009, another half-dozen the following year and three in 2011.

The move "will help the international space station operate more efficiently," Federal Space Agency spokesman Igor Panarin said, Interfax reported Tuesday.