NASA Hopes Commercialization Helps Fund Its Trip Back to the Moon

NASA details how private astronauts can go to the ISS

Nasa to open International Space Station to tourists

There's likely to be a hefty waiting list too (if you can afford it), as Nasa said in a statement that they can accommodate "up to two short-duration private astronaut missions" each year.

A private mission on the International Space Station will cost a minimum of about $35,000 per night.

Russian Federation has already let private citizens onto the station, so it won't be the very first time a non-professional astronaut heads to space, WaPo reported.

The new directive will allow private astronauts to spend up to 30 days in low-Earth orbit aboard the ISS through trips planned by private companies.

NASA astronaut Christine Koch offered up a basic introduction to the new moves in a video recorded on the ISS.

NASA has announced today that it will open the International Space Station to private astronauts, with the first visit as early as next year.

The ISS program is the result of a collaboration between NASA and the various space agencies of Canada, Europe, Japan and Russian Federation.

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The new (very wealthy) space tourists would not be the first private visitors to the ISS, however. Rather, NASA will become one of many customers that can purchase services at the ISS at a lower cost to taxpayers than what it now costs for NASA to those things on its own, DeWit said.

The space agency revealed its plans to commercialise the ISS on Friday, in part to offset the costs of running the station.

None of the changes or new commercial opportunities announced Friday required legislative changes, according to Robyn Gatens, deputy director of International Space Station. The plan is part of NASA's oft-stated goal to become one of many users, or customers, in the low-Earth orbit economy. In other words, in the future, NASA wants to be the buyer of low-Earth orbit services, not the seller.

Up until now, NASA had not allowed ISS to be used for commercial purposes.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine suggested past year the agency would consider being open to branding deals, so the marketing activities aspect of today's announcement doesn't come as a surprise.

'Commercial companies will play an important role both here in low-Earth orbit an around the moon, working with NASA to test technologies, train astronauts, and develop a sustainable human presence'.

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