NASA to Open International Space Station to Tourists from 2020
United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), on Friday, 7 June, said that it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism – with stays priced at USD 35,000 a night – as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab.
There will be up to two short private astronaut missions per year, said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the ISS.
The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days. As many as a dozen private astronauts could visit the ISS per year, NASA said.
These travellers would be ferried to the orbiter exclusively by the two companies currently developing transport vehicles for NASA: SpaceX, with its Crew Dragon capsule, and Boeing, which is building one called Starliner.
That is the average rate the companies will bill NASA for taking the space adventurers up to the ISS.
But the tourists will also pay NASA for their stay in space, for food, water and use of the life support system on the orbiter.
That will run about USD 35,000 per night per astronaut, said DeWit.
But the US has paid for and controls most of the modules that make up the orbiter.
The new space tourists to the ISS will not be the first: US businessman Dennis Tito had that honour in 2001. He paid Russia around USD 20 million for the trip.
(Published in an arrangement with PTI.)
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