The International Space Station Will Open Its Doors To Tourists
At long last, your dreams of epic spacewalking can move beyond the dance floor. You can now travel into space — if you have a pretty penny in the bank to back you. The US Space Agency revealed last week that the International Space Station, owned by Russia and the United States, will open to paying tourists and other private ventures on two separate occasions each year. According to a BBC report, visitors will be allowed to stay on board for up to 30 days for a cool $35,000 per night. This rate includes access to air and supplies while in space but does not cover the cost to get there.
That charge, sure to far exceed the cost of actually staying on the station, is being left to private enterprise. Entrepreneur Elon Musk, of course, couldn’t let this opportunity pass by. His company SpaceX was one of two companies chosen by NASA to handle the logistics of putting together the flight crews and ensuring that all aboard are properly trained and medically fit to take flight. The other company selected was Boeing, which is sure to turn heads given the recent faults with its 737 Max 8 aircraft. If you choose to ride to the International Space Station with one of these companies, expect a taxi fare in the millions of dollars for a seat — but because Musk is involved, the ride should at least be as sleek and comfortable as imaginable.
The plan to put paying tourists and other private endeavors on the station is part of NASA’s goal to privatize the ISS in the coming years, following a budget overhaul from the Trump administration that strips it of government funding by 2025. There might be other private businesses and top-tier rich people sharing the station’s limited amenities, but if you can somehow pull together the seven-figure overhead to get up there, you could be a part of history.
NASA explained the decision in a video posted to Twitter.
.@Space_Station is open for commercial business! Watch @Astro_Christina talk about the steps we’re taking to make our orbiting laboratory accessible to all Americans. pic.twitter.com/xLp2CpMC2x
— NASA (@NASA) June 7, 2019