Our space tourism is coming and the NASA is preparing to take advantage of it. In January next year, the Axiom Space Ax-1 mission is expected to send a professional astronaut and passengers to the station for an eight-day stay using a SpaceX rocket and a Crew Dragon capsule. Blue Origin auctioned a spot in the space next month for $ 28 million.
"This year is a renaissance for spaceflight, as we fly with it NASA "and our international partners with US commercial spacecraft on the International Space Station," said the director of commercial space flight development. NASA Phil McAlister, referring to SpaceX sending astronauts to the station.
"As more people fly into space and see more things during their spaceflight, this will attract even more people to flight, which reflects the growing market we envisioned when we launched the Commercial Crew Program ten years ago."
Η NASA hopes to work with third-party companies to send two more "private astronauts" to ISS. The first tourist flight will take place at the earliest in the fall of 2022 and the next sometime in mid-2023, if all goes according to plan. The US space agency is not looking to compete with commercial companies and its goal is to work with them.
Private SpaceX will make transfers to and from the space station, while NASA will provide logistical support, food, materials and services for amateur space travelers to live in ISS. Amateur astronauts will be able to live in ISS for up to 14 days and will not be allowed to disturb the professionals working on board. The launch rocket and the vehicle with which the space travelers will be transported must be approved by the NASA.
Of course the fares will not be cheap. The space agency will charge $ 5,2 million as "basic costs" for each mission and another $ 4,8 million for the planning required to complete the mission. Add the cost of feeding amateur astronauts - $ 2.000 per person per day for dried food - and up to $ 1.500 a day for other amenities such as sleeping bags, clothes and more. Not to mention the cost of freight and other charges that can reach up to $ 164.000 per day per person.
The money earned from space tourism will help fill its coffers NASA, giving them an additional source of income to fund its costly scientific missions.