WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Russia is considering reducing its crew size on the International Space Station (ISS) from three to two, an official of the U.S. space agency NASA said Monday.
Kenny Todd, NASA's operations integration manager, said during a media briefing that Russian space agency Roscosmos has informed its U.S. counterpart of this option.
The option, a cost-saving measure according to previous Russia media reports, "is strictly a proposal they have put on the table and we will look at it," said Todd.
Since 2000, the ISS has accommodated a crew of six, three of whom come from Russia, two from the United States and one from Canada, Japan, or European Space Agency member countries. The crew number on board can fluctuate during personnel changeovers.
As Moscow and Washington have been committed to maintaining their current level of support for the station, "there is no doubt they (the Russians) are keeping that in mind as they work through whatever challenges they have with their system," Todd said.
"We will trade it against whatever risk that might put into the program," he said. "First and foremost, the risk to our crew on board and the station itself."