The agency will even consider letting NASA astronauts participate in commercial marketing, at least in support roles "behind the camera".
NASA announced on Friday (Saturday in Manila) that the orbiting outpost is now open for business to private citizens, with the first visit expected to be as early as next year. Over the years, many individuals have expressed a desire to be in the shoes of the astronauts for even a day and spend a day at NASA's iconic International Space Station.
Sierra Nevada Corp.is one such commercial interest that is actively testing its multi-mission space utility vehicle, Dream Chaser.
Adding on to further expenses, the flight price is likely to hit $50,000 million, according to Reuters.
The spaceflight to the ISS will account for a large chunk of the cost.
Nasa, which is funded by the American taxpaying public, pays for the U.S. operation of the ISS. They would fly on SpaceX's Crew Dragon or Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft - both of which haven't yet completed human test flights.
It's these capsules that will be used to ferry astronauts up to the ISS - but the cost continues to rise after the journey. The conditions: They have to get there via a commercial USA spacecraft, such as SpaceX's or Boeing's upcoming vehicles, and pay $35,000 per day to cover for NASA's life support, communications, and other expenses (like $50 per gigabyte of data downloaded).More news: Roy, Buttler power England to 386
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Private astronauts will be able to stay on the station for up to 30 days, but the cost will be high.
NASA CFO Jeff DeWitt announced plans in NY.
NASA has struggled to keep up with private space companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, which are wholly unconstrained by the vicissitudes of government budgets and free to commercialize their every move. They will need to book their training, their ride and their up-to-30-day stay through an American space carrier. "The longer it drags out, the more risk there is we're going to get diverted into something else". As many as a dozen private astronauts could visit the ISS per year, NASA said.
So why is NASA letting tourists travel to the ISS? That will be very expensive.
For starters, the space agency issued a new directive that allows commercial manufacturing and production to occur on the ISS, as well as marketing activities.
NASA's new venture will act as another phase in the US's mission for a trip to the Moon in 2024. Photo: NasaPhoto: PixabayThis photograph, snapped by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station in Decemeber 2013, shows a white flash of lightning amidst the yellow city lights of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
NASA hopes to set up several "lunar gateways" starting from 2028 that will float near the Moon, and could be used for crewed missions to Mars. We go faster. We accelerate the program.