Nasa To Open International Space Station To Tourists
Nasa is permitted to visitors for the visit the International Space Station from 2020, valued at $35,000 (£27,500) per night.
The US space organization said it would be open the orbiting station to travel and other commercial projects.
There will be up to two short private spaceman tasks per year, said Robyn Gatens, the deputy director of the ISS.
Nasa said that private spacemen would be allowed to travel to the ISS for up to 30 days, travelling on US spacecraft.
“Nasa is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these chances as we’ve never done before,” chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in New York.
The two firms hired by Nasa are Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which will use its Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building a spacecraft called the Starliner.
These firms are likely to charge any private astronaut a similar “taxi fare” to what they intend to charge Nasa for its astronauts – close to $60m per flight.
- Inside the capsule that docked with ISS
- Can anyone ‘own’ the Moon?
- Mars rover control centre opens
Nasa had before banned any commercial use of the space station and banned spacemen from taking part in for-profit study.
Nasa does not own the station however – it was constructed, start in 1998, with Russia, which has taken a more stress-free approach in recent decades to commerce.
In 2001, US businessman Dennis Tito converted the first tourist for visit when he paid Russia around $20 million for a round trip.
Nasa’s declaration on Friday is part of a move towards full privatization of the ISS. US President Donald Trump issued a budget last year which called for the station to be defunded by the government by 2025.
The space agency newly declared that it planned to return to the moon by 2024, taking the first woman there and the first person in decades.