NASA will allow Tourists to spend up to a month in the ISS complex that orbits the Earth at a price of 30,000 Euros per night.
NASA will open the International Space Station (ISS) tourism to become a space hotel. The orbital laboratory, exclusive until now for scientific projects, will receive travelers in the near future, who will arrive through shuttles such as Space X by Elon Musk. It will not be necessary to become an astronaut, but to have the approximately 50 million Euros that the trip will cost.
NASA MAKES ROOM FOR SPACE TOURISIM
The North American agency will not become a travel agency, but will operate through third-party companies -which must be American- that commercialize these space getaways.
Although Russia has already started this type of space adventure tourism to the International Space Station, NASA had always rejected it.
And they will set limits: only 12 private astronauts will be able to travel to the ISS every year, as long as they reimburse estimated expenses of 35,000 dollars a day (30,000 Euros).
This amount, however, does not include transportation or other conditions to travel to space, such as previous training. The final cost of each trip would skyrocket up to 50 million dollars.
The decision, announced at Nasdaq headquarters on Friday, aims to accelerate the innovation process to develop the new economy in low Earth orbit.
These extra funds would be used by NASA as explained by its financial director, Jeff DeWitt, to be able to continue exploring space.
Announced coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo mission, which brought the first man to the moon, the agency considers new challenges to send a new mission to the satellite, to take the first woman to the Moon, or continue exploring Mars.
The new plans of NASA look to accelerate the process of innovation to develop a new economy in the terrestrial low orbit.
The truth is that NASA depends increasingly on private companies for funding and Donald Trump advocates the privatization of the space business.
The idea of giving the international space station commercial use is not new; for three decades, different administrations have tried it, although no company had shown interest in managing these potential trips.
Several US companies have already applied to market these space trips, which would take off in 2020
The travelers will not be the first: since 2008, seven tourists have visited the ISS after paying a figure close to 20 million dollars to Russia. Even one of them, Charles Simonyi, participated twice.
The new plans of NASA, as explained by the Roby Gatens directive, now go to consult specialized companies.
However, his initial idea is to allow up to two trips per year starting in 2020 with capacity for up to 12 tourists.
They would arrive aboard capsules like the Crew Dragon and the Starliner that the SpaceX and Boeing companies are developing.
Boeing CST-100 Starliner
Another space traveler, Anglo-American entrepreneur Richard Garriott , who visited IBD in 2008, told Business Insider that NASA "aggressively" resisted this type of flight to the facilities managed by four other agencies: those of Russia , Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency.
"He tried to dissuade us or forbid us [the trip] at one stage or another," he explained. He could not avoid it due to different agreements and international conventions.
Now, pressed by the plans to return to the moon, where it could install a permanent mission, and the need to save the costs of maintaining the space station (about half of its annual budget, according to Business Insider), would be willing to use this formula of space tourism.
According to The New York Times, the Bigelow Aerospace company, based in Las Vegas, already showed interest in booking these trips. It will use SpaceX ships with four seats to send space tourists.
Another company, Axiom Space, based in Houston, is also coordinating flights and expects to take off for the first time in 2020.
The US also explained that it will request proposals from the private sector to add a commercial module to the space station and will select the final project by the end of the year.