NASA to open space station for tourists in 2020

NASA to allow tourists on ISS in 2020

This will help them to expand space exploration for other businesses in this department. Transportation is not included.

"A robust low-Earth orbit economy will need multiple commercial destinations, and NASA is partnering with industry to pursue dual paths to that objective that either go through the space station or directly to a free-flying destination". That is just one aspect of commercial activities NASA hopes to catalyze with its new policy. That would put the total for the trip to over $1 million. With each short-duration stay including four seats‚ Nasa could earn as much as US$4.2m (ZAR62.6m) per mission. CASIS recently rebranded itself as the "ISS National Lab".

However, ISS has been used before for commercial research and development by many companies.

"Nasa is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we've never done before", said Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit.

The timing for that transition from a government-operated facility to private sector facilities is to be determined.

These are work trips, according to the NASA directive released Friday (PDF).


Thus NASA now is trying to stimulate commercial activity in LEO to improve future business models. NASA opposed the idea initially, but eventually acquiesced. It suspended its tourist flights once the USA space shuttle program ended and NASA needed to use those seats (NASA pays Russian Federation about $80 million per seat).

Transport will be provided by both Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX, who are now developing capsules that can carry humans to the ISS. Space tourism is a potential revenue stream for them.

NASA's plan will also allow 30-day private astronaut missions to the space station starting as early as 2020.

Depending on the market, the agency will allow up to two visitors per year, for now. Price of one night on the ISS will be 35 thousand U.S. dollars (nearly a thousand 931 hryvnias, - approx. ed).

NASA typically pays around $75 million for seats aboard a Soyuz spacecraft destined for the ISS, and even paid $82 million per seat in 2015.

Price tag? Tens of millions of dollars for a round trip ticket and $35,000 a night.

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