SpaceX, the company of the great Elon Musk, has signed a deal to send 3 tourists to the ISS (International Space Station) as early as the year 2021.
SpaceX announced on March 5, 2020, that it has signed a deal with Axiom Space, a startup company, which will take tourists, private teachers, and astronauts from other countries and other rich people to the ISS.
The trip is going to mark the first time in the history that a spacecraft will be used to take tourists to the International Space Station.
Building the International Space Station’s successor.
Booking a Crew Dragon mission with @SpaceX for our first flight – the first fully private flight to ISS in history.
— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) March 5, 2020
This is not the first time tourists have flown to the International Space Station before, but according to Axiom, this will be the first time a fully private trip will be carried out to the ISS.
The rich tourists that are going to travel on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which is a fully autonomous capsule that measures around 13 feet wide, will be flown by a trained flight commander.
The Dragon crew will link up with the space station so the passengers can go inside it.
It is said that the passengers will spend at least 8 days there before returning to Earth.
According to reports, the mission will launch as soon as the second half of next year.
Michael Suffredini, the CEO of Axiom, said, “This history-making flight will represent a watershed moment in the march toward universal and routine access to space.”
Falcon 9 launches the final mission of the first version of Dragon pic.twitter.com/qkwCxb49OA
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 7, 2020
Suffredini, who also served as the manager of NASA’s International Space Station Program from 2005 to 2015, added, “This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space – a first for a commercial entity.”
He continued, “Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we’re glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort.”
Axiom did not share any further information or details about how much the trip to the ISS would cost each passenger, but according to reports, it is believed that passengers would pay anywhere from tens of millions of dollars.
Gwynne Shotwell, the President and Chief Operation Officer of SpaceX, said, “SpaceX has been delivering cargo to the International Space Station in partnership with NASA and later this year, we will fly NASA astronauts for the first time.”
Gwynne added, “Now, thanks to Axiom and their support from NASA, privately crewed missions will have unprecedented access to the space station, furthering the commercialization of space and helping usher in a new era of human exploration.”
Before the trip gets a green light, the Crew Dragon of SpaceX needs to be certified for human spaceflight and prove it can serve its intended purpose, which is to take NASA astronauts to and from the ISS.
In 2019, NASA said they are going to allow up to 2 trips to the International Space Station per year for non-government astronauts.
Does anyone want to come with me?