Nasa to open International Space Station to tourists

James Marshall
Июня 7, 2019

Eventually, Nasa hopes the space station will be just one of several "commercial and free-flying habitable destinations in low-Earth orbit".

During a June 7 news conference at Nasdaq in New York City, NASA announced that the International Space Station is now open for commercial business.

Each mission will likely cost over $50 million per tourist (paid to a private space tourism company), and NASA plans to pocket $35,000 for every night a private astronaut stays. Under NASA's new policy, commercial entities will have the opportunity to broaden the scope of their activities at the orbiting lab, to include manufacturing, marketing, advertising and other for-profit activities, Robyn Gatens, NASA's deputy director for the ISS program, said at the news conference. The tourists would travel on USA spacecraft.

Astronauts have dazzled the world in recent years with photos and videos shot from the International Space Station. In addition, NASA will charge visitors for food, storage and communication once at the station.

"We're marketing these opportunities as we've never done before", said NASA's Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWitt earlier today.

Unfortunately, the stay won't come with any Hilton or Marriott points, DeWit joked. "Transitioning toward this new model of business is an important step to allow Nasa to move full speed ahead in landing the first woman and the next man on the moon".

Up to 12 private astronauts will be able to visit the ISS each year, Nasa said. NASA has published a price list for the ISS, and it's setting aside five percent of the station's annual resources (including astronaut time and cargo mass) for commercial use. Rather, NASA will become one of many customers that can purchase services at the ISS at a lower cost to taxpayers than what it now costs for NASA to those things on its own, DeWit said. The fifth part of the plan calls for NASA to lay out what exactly needs to happen to enable long-term commercial operations in long-term orbit.

"Enabling a vibrant economy in low-Earth orbit has always been a driving element of the space station program, and will make space more accessible to all Americans", said Koch.

'Commercial companies will play an important role both here in low-Earth orbit an around the moon, working with NASA to test technologies, train astronauts, and develop a sustainable human presence'.

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