Sci-tech

NASA opens International Space Station to tourists

NASA opens International Space Station to tourists

NASA has suggested that it is open to conducting two such 30-day trips a year to the International Space Station for nearly a dozen private astronauts' with the first mission expected to take place in 2020.

First, there's the cost of a round-trip ticket, estimated to be worth $58 million ($A83m).

The space agency says only two visitors per year will be allowed, for now.

The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days.

Transport will be provided by both Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX, who are now developing capsules that can carry humans to the ISS.

And Axiom Space, a Houston-based company hoping to organize trips to the ISS, has pledged to charge $55 million (£43.2 million) for a 10-day trip to the ISS.

Views from the ISS in picturesPhoto: PixabayThe aurora australis, also known as the "southern lights", is pictured as the International Space Station orbited 264 miles above the Indian Ocean south of the Australian island state of Tasmania.

Neither Dragon nor Starliner are ready.

Nasa will get around $35,000 (£27,000) per night that a private astronaut spends on board the ISS.

That does not include internet, which will cost $50 per gigabyte.

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The first space tourists could head up to the ISS in 2020, Nasa said. It was Dennis Tito and he paid Russian Federation about 20 million dollars.

Others followed in his footsteps, the last being Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte in 2009.

Right now, if you want to go to space, for the most part, your only option is to become an astronaut.

There are usually three to six crew members on the ISS at any given time.

To improve the efficacy of the agency's plan, NASA is asking for feedback from interested vendors and others via a request for information, with responses due by July 3.

Koch also noted that increasing private interaction with ISS will contribute to the US' current goal of landing a woman on the moon by 2024.

Move over The Northern Lights, Vegas and NY because the latest buzzword in the travel circuit is "space tourism".

There can be two of those short-duration missions each year, Nasa said.

Approved activities must have a connection to the NASA mission, stimulate the low-Earth orbit economy or need the unique environment of microgravity, according to Robyn Gatens, ISS's Deputy Director.

In the end, NASA appears to have changed its stance in order to meet its huge budget needs.