Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
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NASA opens space station to private astronaut missions

NASA opens space station to private astronaut missions

NASA intends to expand the ISS National Lab directive to allow manufacturing and marketing activites on the station for Earth-based commercial sales and establish prices for private sector use of government resources.

It is part of Nasa's attempt to recoup some of the $100 billion cost of the space station as the agency begins to focus on the expensive project of returning astronauts to the moon.

The International Space Station is open for commercial business ... A new policy, announced during a June 7 news conference at Nasdaq in New York City, provides the opportunity for up to two short-duration private astronaut missions to the space station beginning as early as 2020, if the market supports it.

The price for one night on the station is around $35,000, and the 30-day stay limits is kind of mandatory, as rides to and from the station can not be summoned on a whim.

"The agency's ultimate goal in low-Earth orbit is to partner with industry to achieve a strong ecosystem in which NASA is one of many customers purchasing services and capabilities at lower cost", NASA explained in a press release.

NASA has published a price list for the ISS and the trip would definitely be costly to a very high degree.

NASA might not be just about research and scientific discovery in the future.

Transport will be provided by both Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX, who are now developing capsules that can carry humans to the ISS.

Last February, President Donald Trump said that White House may stop funding the ISS come 2025 and wants private companies to lead on the space station.

Launching private astronaut missions is part of a larger effort to expand commercial activity at the space station beyond the research and development now limited by the ISS National Lab mandate. In addition, NASA will be charging for basic facilities from visitors like food, storage and communication in the station.

These companies would choose the clients - who will not have to be United States citizens - and bill for the trip to the ISS, which will be the most expensive part of the adventure: around $58 million for a roundtrip ticket.

ISS was build at the beginning of 1998 with Russian Federation, hence NASA does not own the station.

The "space hotel" on the ISS will have to compete with the Aurora Space Station of Orion Span.

They won't be the first private individuals visiting the ISS.

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