Publicado: Sáb, Junio 08, 2019
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Nasa opening space station to visitors

Nasa opening space station to visitors

NASA astronauts already perform experiments on behalf of companies and research organizations; under the new rule, the space agency will allow up to two private astronaut missions annually to the ISS.

A private mission on the International Space Station will cost a minimum of about $35,000 per night.

"We're reaching out to the private sector to see if you can push the economic frontier into space", said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

It's been nearly a decade since the last tourist visited the International Space Station via a Russian spacecraft, but NASA could be opening the hatch to new private astronauts as soon as 2020.

However, NASA has published a price list that underscores the fact that space is not a budget travel destination. Private astronauts can use the ISS for "missions of up to 30 days", NASA said in its announcement in NY on Friday.

NASA envisions a future where commercial interests have populated low-Earth orbit and the agency becomes a customer of those businesses in order to save on costs.

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The change paves the way for the wealthy to rocket from Earth and spend time aboard the astronaut home and laboratory in space, through trips planned by private enterprise, and for businesses to develop products or shoot film - including adverts - in space.

According to NASA, the first private astronaut missions could blast-off as early as 2020. As part of its new policy directive, NASA will also open up the space station to possible marketing and advertising activities.

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.

The announcement came as NASA unveiled its new business model on Friday, revealing a plan to incorporate more commercial and marketing opportunities 'both in low-Earth orbit and around the moon'.

"Enabling a vibrant economy in low-Earth orbit has always been a driving element of the space station program, and will make space more accessible to all Americans", said Koch. As for business uses, NASA calls out space manufacturing, regenerative medicine and bioengineering as pursuits that would fit well with the ISS environment.

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