Home SCIENCE NASA opens Int’l Space Station for Tourists

NASA opens Int’l Space Station for Tourists

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International Space Station above 408 kms from Earth

International Space Station (ISS) is open for private citizens, announced by U.S. space agency, NASA.

NASA will allow only upto two private trips to the station per year each lasting up to 30 days and the first mission could happen as early as 2020 according to NASA.

But this trip could make a massive hole on your bank accounts. The tourists will firstly pay an estimated 58 million U.S. dollars for a round-trip ticket for the 30-day trip. Then they have to spend about 35,000 dollars (roughly Rs. 24,30,000) per night per astronaut for accommodations, said Jeff Dewit, NASA’s chief financial officer, at a press conference at Nasdaq in New York City.

He also said that “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before”

Previously, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos has already allowed a number of private citizens at the station.

A U.S. spacecraft which is developed under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, including the rocket-and-capsule systems being developed by Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be used for the mission.

Officials added that they were keen to have the private sector getting more involved in space, including the “development of products useful on Earth.”

But the question here is why is NASA doing this? At the presentation Friday, NASA said it wasn’t looking to make a profit from the trips, but the money raised will give the agency more room to focus o the Trump administration’s goal of returning to the moon by 2024 and even sending them to Mars after that.

A dozen or so private astronauts, in addition to getting ripped off a whole lot of cash will have to go through the same medical standards and training and certification procedures as regular crew members in order to qualify for the mission.

For those who don’t know much about ISS, the space station orbits around 400 kilometers above the Earth and the complete ISS will weigh around 450 tons. It is run by five space agencies with 15 countries involved. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998. It has been occupied contiuously since november 2000.

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