It seems we’re back to the space race, but this time it’s not about gazing as far as possible into the depths of the Universe – now everyone is intent on sending actual living and breathing humans as far into space as we’ve ever gone! That being said, the commercial side of space travel has also been given a boost thanks to the talent and persistence of Elon Musk, who’s making space travel cheaper as we speak. In fact, it’s getting so accessible that you could go into space no later than next year! NASA is opening up ISS to tourists, and here’s what you need to know.
So, it’s done – NASA has announced that International Space Station is opening its doors (or hatches, to be more precise) to a number of commercial opportunities, including tourism. Yep, you heard that right – there will be at least two private astronaut missions per year, and who knows, maybe you’ll be the lucky one to go to space!
Estimated price, though, might scare most of future space travellers away. A night at the ISS will cost around $35,000, but there’s a catch. To get there you’ll need the service of a private company (that is Elon Musk’s SpaceX), which would charge the future traveller same as they would a NASA space mission – around $60 million per flight.
NASA hired SpaceX to deal with all commercial flights using its Dragon capsule that has proved more than capable of going into space and back. Boeing is also preparing something to join the space travelling fun – the company is building its very own spacecraft named Starliner.
Not so long ago any commercial use of the ISS was strictly prohibited by NASA (as well as Russia that co-owns the space station). Times have changed, though, and the first ever non-astronaut went into space in 2001 for a hefty price of $20 million.
As President D. Trump is planning to fully defund the ISS by 2025, NASA’s move is to fully privatise the space station, and that means it should become profitable. This will definitely open more opportunities for the development of space travel, making the whole thing more affordable. According to NASA, taking a space trip to the ISS will become possible in 2020!
Among other great news: we’re going back to Moon by 2024 and the first ever woman will get her chance to step onto its surface. Only 12 people have left their footmarks on Moon and all were male!