NASA Planning To Commercialize Space Travel In Lower Earth Orbit

NASA plans to make space tourism a reality.

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NASA seems to be taking space tourism seriously. The space agency might commercialize space travel of the lower Earth orbit in the coming years. It has already intimated the firms that are working on a future mission, for inputs to make a plan for space tourism.

NASA Planning To Commercialize Space Travel In Lower Earth Orbit

 

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.

Elon Musk has already announced that SpaceX will be taking a passenger for a detour in space. The company has also announced its first passenger for the Moon trip. Yusaku Maezawa, 42, will be the first passenger to into space through SpaceX's BFR. He is a Japanese billionaire and founder of online fashion mall Zozotown. Musk previously hinted the first person to go on this trip might be Japanese.

Elon Musk also said that a return ticket to Mars might cost the passenger less than $100,000 - assuming a lot of people are willing to go on the trip. Still, the final cost will depend on the number of travelers, Musk added.

 

It will be interesting to see how these private space companies will alongside NASA and construct a firm plan for space tourism.

Recently, Jeff Bezos also announced his company - Blue Origin's plan to build a lunar lander. We might soon the company foraying into the commercial space exploration as well. Other firms like Boeing, Deloitte Consulting, and NanoRacks are also part of NASA's new initiative, so we can expect something similar from them in the future.

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