It's here. You may have dreamed of someday floating inside the International Space Station (ISS) while observing the spectacular views of your home back on Earth. However, the reality is that most of us will never get to board the ISS because we lack the diverse set of skills needed to be an astronaut.
Yet, on some level, this might all change. Recently, NASA announced that the agency is going to allow tourists to visit the ISS starting from 2020.
However, do not start packing your bags yet. The prices for these tickets are going to set you back thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, for this once in a lifetime opportunity, it might be worth it. Who knows, it might be the perfect way to spend a honeymoon with your Moldovan lover who loves to travel.
Touring the International Space Station
Not only will the ISS have room for tourists but NASA will also be opening it up for business ventures too. It is good to mention that NASA will be not shuttling people every few days to the station. According to the deputy director at NASA, there will be up to two short private astronaut missions per year.
The private astronauts onboard will be permitted to travel to ISS for up to 30 days. But, that's if you can afford it. NASA is planning to charge all tourists willing to stay in space on the ISS $35,000 or about £27,500 per night.
Private commercial entities, not NASA, will be responsible for determining if you can even be part of the trip ensuring that private astronauts meet the medical and training requirements for spaceflight.
The companies involved so far? Elon Musk's SpaceX will use its Dragon capsule and Boeing is building a similar spacecraft that has been dubbed the Starliner. These companies will also be charging you on your flight to space so expect that "taxi" fee to be much higher than your city Uber.
Interestingly, NASA is working hard towards the full privatization of the ISS. This is a major historic moment as NASA has vehemently fought against commercial use of the space station and prohibited astronauts from taking part in for-profit research.
Would you want to hop aboard the ISS?