Sounds crazy but true US space agency NASA recently announced that it would open ISS (International space station) to tourists and for other business ventures from 2020
NASA said there will be only two trips per year starting from the year 2020 and private astronauts would be permitted to travel ISS for 30 days, travelling on US spacecraft.
This program will allow private astronauts to visit the orbiting space station which can cost them $35,000 per day . Broken down into segments $22,000 for supplies, $11,000 for stuff like water, oxygen, using toilet and additional $50 per gigabyte when using station data downlink wrapping around cost of entire flight to $58 million dollars per seat .
NASA Chief Financial Officer, Jeff DeWitt, said,
“If you look at the pricing and you add it up, back of a napkin, it would be roughly $35,000 a night, per astronaut. But it won’t come with any Hilton or Marriott points.”
Through the program NASA main aims for opening international space station is to sending humans to moon by 2024 and for commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in New York.
Most companies already use ISS to conduct commercial development , but the new effort is intended to broaden the scope even further and include other activities such as space tourism, as NASA explained in a press release.
As per NASA regulations, private companies can buy time and space on the ISS for producing, marketing, or testing their products. Further, if required, the companies can also use ISS’s resources and astronaut expertise, reports The Verge.
Nasa said that private commercial entities would be responsible for determining crew composition and ensuring that the private astronauts meet the medical and training requirements for spaceflight
There are two private companies hired by NASA namely SpaceX and Boieng working on their project Dragon capsule and Starliner respectively to make possible to take private astronauts to ISS.
For now NASA has hired 12 companies to determine the possibilities on how the space could be commercialised.The idea is to either to attach a private space habitat to ISS or fly free in low earth orbit. These upcoming facility would serve as a research laboratory or for private visitors to view space.