NASA To Open ISS For Visitors With $50 Million Ticket Charge

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NASA will allow private citizens to stay at the International Space Station (ISS). Passengers will have to shell out around $35,000 per night and these trips can last for months, the space agency said.

NASA To Open ISS For Visitors With $50 Million Ticket Charge

 

This will lift the prohibition against people willing to visit the ISS at their own expense. This is also a move towards making space travel commercial. This will also make way for use of rocket-and-capsule launch systems that are under development by Boeing Co and Elon Musk's SpaceX. Both companies will also take astronauts to the ISS for the first time within the next 10 years.

NASA confirmed that two private trips to the station will be allowed every year, each lasting up to 30 days. The first mission could happen as early as 2020. However, passengers will have to shell out a lot of money. The space agency has estimated the cost for a flight would be around $50 million per seat. Besides, the visitors will be charged for food, storage, and communication at ISS as well.

"If you look at the pricing and you add it up, back of a napkin, it would be roughly $35,000 a night, per astronaut," NASA's Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit told a news conference in New York. "But it won't come with any Hilton or Marriott points," DeWit deadpanned.

NASA has already shortlisted 11 firms including Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to build prototypes of human landers for its Artemis lunar exploration mission.

These firms will also be exploring the possibility of commercializing the area that is 2,000km above the surface of our planet. These companies will be doing the research and investigate habitats that people would live in if they happen to be a part of the mission.

"When the International Space Station was established, we could not have anticipated all the benefits it would provide. We're excited to receive this input from the commercial market and aerospace experts to help shape a future thriving in space economy in which companies contract with each other to conduct research and activities in low-Earth orbit," said Sam Scimemi, Director of the ISS division.

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