For the primary time, NASA is planning to open the Worldwide Area Station to non-public residents, permitting business corporations to rearrange excursions that might value as a lot as $58 million per particular person, officers stated at a information convention Friday.
The primary section of the plan will enable as much as two personal astronauts to make short-term visits to the station as quickly as 2020, earlier than opening the station to different tourism alternatives.
NASA stated the business exercise is an effort to boost cash for sending a brand new spherical of astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Hours after the announcement, President Donald Trump tweeted that he doesn’t assume NASA ought to concentrate on returning to the moon and may as a substitute flip its consideration towards Mars (whereas incorrectly stating “the Moon is a part” of Earth’s neighboring planet). Trump just last month stated he was beefing up NASA’s price range “and we are going back to the Moon.”
The area vacationer visits shall be organized by way of business corporations contracted with NASA, which at present embody Boeing and Elon Musk’s Area X. The company is evaluating proposals from further corporations.
The businesses must pay about $35,000 an evening to make use of the area station’s companies, together with air, water, meals and communication, NASA stated. Voyagers could be charged far more, to cowl prices of the businesses’ rocket flights and different bills.
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