In case you were ever curious if you can take a trip to the Space Station, wonder no more. You now have the possibility of signing up for a mission that can last 10 days aboard the International Space Station, as long as you have $55 million. And have no worries, as a 15-week astronaut-training program would be also covered by the cost. A company from Houston that is in charge of the expeditions to the ISS just made an announcement regarding this. Their intention is to create the first commercial space station.
The company who has such great plans for the future, named Axiom Space, actually intends on making this happen by 2020, when the first customers would be granted access to the mission. According to Michael Suffredini, the CEO and President of the company that handled NASA’s ISS program for 10 years, “more countries and private citizens” should be involved in human space exploration, as more people need to become aware of the significant benefits that such exploration could bring.
A private space station is being developed
At this moment, Axiom Space is establishing its own station, which would later be connected with the International Space Station. As long as everything goes well, the customers who are ready to embark on such journey would be able to do so no later than 2022. It looks like at the beginning, the orbital outpost will be linked to the ISS, only to detach itself later on, whenever it will be ready to begin flying on its own. This enormous commercial Axiom station would cost $100 billion.
A new space station, a new design
Apparently the interiors of the commercial outpost are going to be designed by Philippe Starck, a French architect, which means that there will be a notable difference between this new station and ISS, which was designed to be practical rather than attractive.
However, Axiom Space are not the only ones with a desire to develop a commercial space station, as other companies have already expressed their intentions of building a private station, with some of them going as far as aiming to have a “luxury space hotel” by 2022, as stated by a startup named Orion Span. Let’s also remember that ISS has been visited before by tourists, seven of them to be precise. Between 2001 and 2009, they went to the station eight times, which cost them somewhere between $20 million and $40 million for each visit.