Originally Posted by broncosteven
Yep, For now anyone wanting to send astronauts (or Cosmonauts) to the space station need to do it at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
China sent a man into space but they don't have the adapter to dock, at least that we know of and they aren't going to tell us that they have sent men up until afterwards.
NASA is outsourcing orbital manned flights to private contractors like SpaceX to focus on deep space missions via the new SLS (Space Launch System) that uses the Orion craft for manned deep space missions yet to be determined. Sounds like they will send it to an Asteroid rendezvous or a manned mission to Mars. They have the gantry built, they repuroposed the Shuttles old engines and are testing the tanks and have a mock up of the capsule ready. The 1st test launch of the Orion Stack is set for 2014! The 1st manned mission may not be until 2017 or later. I fear later.
NASA wants to leave the smaller jobs to private enterprise and do the other harder things because private company's would be less likely to pull them off.
So NASA is focusing on bigger and brighter pastures, while leaving the "been there done that" work to the private sector?