NASA announced Friday that it will open the International Space Station to private astronauts, with the first visit as early as next year.
The round-trip ticket will cost an estimated $58 million. And accommodations aboard the orbiting outpost will run about $35,000 per night, for trips of up to 30 days long. Private astronauts would be able to stay at the ISS for up to 30 days.
NASA had previously prohibited any commercial use or for-profit research at the space station. This marks a step towards full privatization of the ISS, with the Trump Administration planning to withdraw all federal funding to space station in 2025. Prospective travelers would get to the space station via SpaceX Crew Dragon or Boeing CST-100 spacecraft, both of which are private spacecrafts, yet to be tested in outer space.
With files from the Associated Press.
We reached out to NASA for an interview request. They have not responded by air time.
Thomas Roberts, program manager and research associate at the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank
Tom Jones, former NASA Astronaut & a Planetary Scientist; Jones flew on four space shuttle missions to Earth orbit; the last in 2001 included three spacewalks to install the American Destiny laboratory on the International Space Station