NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020
NASA The NASA logo is displayed at the agency’s booth during CES 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. File photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP
NEW YORK, USA – NASA said Friday, June 7, it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism – with stays priced at $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 travelers 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.
These companies would choose the clients and bill for the trip to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adventure: around $58 million for a round trip ticket.
That is the average rate the companies will bill NASA for taking the space adventurers up to the ISS.
That will run about $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.