NASA to open International Space Station to tourists

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NASA is to allow tourists to visit the International Space Station from 2020, priced at $35,000 (Rs 5,233,900) per night.

NASA will allow up to two private trips to the station per year, each lasting up to 30 days. The first mission could be as early as 2020. But the ride won’t be cheap. NASA estimated the cost of a flight would be around $50 million per seat. NASA will charge visitors for food, storage and communication at the station.

“If you look at the pricing and you add it up, back of a napkin, it would be roughly $35,000 a night, per astronaut,” NASA’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff DeWit said at a news conference in New York.

The two companies hired by NASA are SpaceX and Boeing which will be responsible for all the arrangements.

NASA had previously banned any commercial use of the space station and prohibited astronauts from taking part in for-profit research.NASA does not own the station however it was built in 1998, with Russia, which has taken a more relaxed approach in recent decades to commerce.

In 2001, US businessman Dennis Tito became the first tourist to visit when he paid Russia around $20 million for a round trip.

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