Yes, you read the title right. NASA just announced that it will open up the International Space Station (ISS) to the public and will allow visitors to the space station by next year. It is the first time that the space agency will officially welcome tourists since it started to become a temporary homes to astronauts in 2000.
Image credit: Evening Standard
NASA plans to open the ISS to commercial business, including tourism – letting other private astronauts and tourists to visit the space station. As we would expect, the tickets won’t be cheap. The accommodation cost starts roughly at $35,000 (~RM146,000) per night for food, toilet, internet and air supplies.
Image credit: NASA
The US space agency said it will open the station for a private astronaut mission, accommodating up to two short-duration flights per year, with each taking up to 30 days on the ISS. The first mission planned to ISS is set as early as 2020 and will be privately funded.
Image credit: The Verge
The move was taken after companies such as Boeing and SpaceX developed “space taxis” to transport humans to the ISS. These companies are likely to charge any private astronaut a similar “taxi fare” to what they intend to charge NASA for its astronauts which is close to $60m per flight.
NASA will also allow commercial activities such as movies, advertising and product testing. According to BBC, the chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said that “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before”.
So what do you think? Would you can include this in your bucket list? Let us know your thoughts! 😀
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