Nasa to open International Space Station to tourists from next year (but it’ll cost you)

By Chris Parsons, News Editor / Yahoo News UK

A large mass of storm clouds over the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil and the Equator as seen from the ISS on July 4, 2013. (Reuters)

Nasa is to offer tourists the chance to visit the International Space Station from next year, it was revealed today.

Private astronaut trips of up to 30 days will be available to the public from 2020.

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

Unsurprisingly, the once-in-a-lifetime trip comes with a price tag which is out of this world – the private missions will cost $35,000 (£27,500) per astronaut, per night.

The trips are likely to cost each private astronaut tens of thousands of dollars. (Reuters)
Undated handout photo issued by NASA of the International Space Station photographed from the space shuttle Atlantis. (PA)

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.

Up to 12 private astronauts will be able to visit the ISS each year, Nasa said.

Boeing and SpaceX are the contractors who are developing capsules to carry humans to the ISS and will be tasked with transporting private tourists for the one-off missions.

Nasa chief financial officer Jeff DeWit, speaking in New York during the announcement, said: ‘Nasa is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before.’

NASA Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit and ISS Deputy Director Robyn Gatens reveal NASA’s increased commercialisation on Friday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Nasa will also allow film crews to shoot from the ISS as part of its commercialisation.

In 2018, the ISS celebrated its 20th anniversary of being launched orbit. It has been occupied since November 2000.

The new (very wealthy) space tourists would not be the first private visitors to the ISS, however. In 2001, US businessman Dennis Tito paid Russia around $20 million for the privilege.

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