NASA to open International Space Station for tourists starting from 2020

TOURISM NASA open door for people to travel to ISS

NASA just announced today that it's opening the International Space Station to both tourists and commercial activities "so US industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit". Until now, the space station has only been used for research and development. And it urges work to "stimulate sustainable demand" for commercial R&D in a variety of fields, ranging from in-space manufacturing to biomedicine.

"The agency can accommodate up to two short-duration private astronaut missions per year to the International Space Station".

Private companies can now buy time and space for a chance aboard the ISS to produce, market, or test products. Several also wondered why NASA had limited travel to just Americans.

By handing control of the space station over to commercial ventures, NASA could have more money to pursue more ambitious missions, such as building a new space station around the moon and sending humans back to the lunar surface. "Private astronaut missions will use a United States spacecraft developed under NASA's Commercial Crew Program". The missions can be up to 30 days each.

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Nasa is to allow tourists to visit the International Space Station from 2020. And the prices we're putting up there are a portion of our expenses to maintain the station. The space agency has estimated the cost for a flight would be around $50 million per seat.

Jeff DeWit, NASA's chief financial officer, told the audience at Nasdaq that what NASA intends to achieve - now with this first step, and in the future - is the ability to free up needed capital and manpower.

To break it down, it would cost you $11,250 if you want to use the toilet and life support systems at the ISS.

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The International Space Station could soon become humanity's next hottest tourist destination.

How will they get there?

"But it won't come with any Hilton or Marriott points", Dewit joked during the live-streamed conference.

Gerstenmaier said NASA will expect Boeing and SpaceX to handle all the arrangements for visits by commercial astronauts. "So we expect the private sector companies to do all that".

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But the USA has paid for and controls most of the modules that make up the orbiter.

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