NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020 | #AsiaNewsNetwork

Rodiano Bonacci
Giugno 13, 2019

The first private astronaut mission to the station will be held as early as 2020.

NASA Space Tourism hopes to assist in creating a thriving commercial economy in the low-Earth orbit through the United States industry innovation and ingenuity.

According to Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the International Space Station, up to 12 private astronauts can visit the International Space Station per year and can stay up to 30 days in the space.

Friday's announcement marks the first time NASA is allowing private astronauts on board. According to Gizmodo, a single night with food and other crucial supplies on the ISS would cost $35,000 at least.

NASA indicated that the program would encourage in-space manufacturing, marketing projects, and health-care research. However, in order to get to the ISS, the astronauts will have to use a commercial U.S. spacecraft like SpaceX's or Boeing's upcoming vehicles.

NASA has been a reluctant participant in Russia's tourist flights in the past, but its attitude is changing now that SpaceX and Boeing are getting ready to fly their commercial crew systems, Crew Dragon and Starliner. The agency said this will also reduce the cost to US taxpayers for this next lunar mission. Private spaceflight will allow Nasa to turn its attention to Mars exploration while enabling more people than ever to experience space.

Companies must send in at least two private astronauts who must pass the agency's physical requirements to work on behalf of the companies. The cockpit design was configured like the Apollo Lunar Module, but can be customized to enable astronauts to train for future Moon landings with the most high-fidelity feeling they can get on this planet. American businessman Dennis Tito first paid the country $20 million to visit in 2001, which, even accounting for inflation, sounds like a relative steal. Those trips were arranged by the Russian Federation.

The company will deliver four tourists at a specific date to the International Space Station. That could include flying trinkets to space and then selling them on Earth. NASA does not want to be an anchor tenant, just one of many customers. In 2018, Trump administration created a commotion after releasing a proposal to end federal financing of ISS by 2024 and to build commercial alternatives.

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