The US space agency Nasa now plans to commercialize the use of the space station from 2020 and even to allow regular space tourist flights. Nasa reports the first space station port for commercial activities is already underway.
NASA Space Tourism hopes to assist in creating a thriving commercial economy in the low-Earth orbit through the United States industry innovation and ingenuity. "NASA will authorize two short missions of private astronauts per year", said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the station. But that concept will soon become obsolete; at least some rich people that can cough out tens of millions of dollars for a special vacation will be able to buy a ticket for Space tourism.
Friday's announcement marks the first time NASA is allowing private astronauts on board. This will come at a cost of $35,000 per night.
"Market studies identified private astronaut missions to low-Earth orbit as a key element to demonstrate demand and reduce risk for future commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit", NASA explained. With it, both NASA and private astronauts can conduct commercial activities aboard the ISS, including commercial production and manufacturing of products that are meant to be sold on Earth.
NASA has been a reluctant participant in Russia's tourist flights in the past, but its attitude is changing now that SpaceX and Boeing are getting ready to fly their commercial crew systems, Crew Dragon and Starliner.
The NASA officials said some revenue from commercial activities will help the agency focus its resources on returning to the moon in 2024, a major goal of the Trump administration.
Nasa stated that the private business elements might be accountable for deciding team creation and guaranteeing that these private space travelers meet the training and medical prerequisites for the spaceflight.
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.
In addition, it is not yet clear whether tourists in space are allowed to enter all modules of the "ISS" because there are facilities and facilities of Americans, Russians, Europeans, Japanese and Canadians.
The policy change announced Friday includes the opening of parts of the ISS to private sector companies for commercial and marketing activity. NASA does not want to be an anchor tenant, just one of many customers.