NASA has announced that during the holidays paying guests will be welcomed to the International Space Station. Truly, this is not for everyone as it will cost around $83 million, round-trip for a one-month holiday. On top of that, accommodations will run approximately $50,000 per night!
Guests do not have to be US citizens. Other countries will be allowed to fly as long as they are on a US operated rocket. Ever since the US space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA has flown astronauts to the space station using Russian rockets.
SpaceX and Boeing have a deal with NASA to fly crewed missions to the station. Private citizens will have to make their arrangements with these 2 companies and pay them for the trip. In turn, Boeing and SpaceX will pay NASA to provide the accommodations and other essentials, including air.
Should a private astronaut be on the station, they must pay while they are there for life support, water, food, etc. So far, NASA will only allow two visitors a year. The private astronaut will have to pass the same medical standards and training as the actual crew members.
On Russian rockets, the space station has welcomed visitors in the past. In 2001, Dennis Tito, a US businessman, was the first paid visitor and since then a few others have followed suit.
NASA’s future program is to open up the station to private companies. Over time, the space station will be far too expensive for the US government to maintain so the general idea is to allow private companies to use the station and eventually take it over.
Exactly what the itinerary will be in the future has not been determined yet but if you are planning a holiday, it would be a good idea to know what has taken place in the past.
As for the launch site, it should be flat and somewhat remote like a desert. Launches that have been run by Russia have taken place in Kazakhstan. To date, 236 people from 18 countries have visited the space station.
As of now, there are 3 to 6 people presently on the space station due to the limited space in the Russian Soyuz transport capsules. SpaceX and Boeing plan to take more astronauts at one time.
The available space for people to live in is more than a five-bedroom house. There are 2 bathrooms, a 360° window, and a gym. Word is the living accommodations are very much like being on a Boeing 747 airplane.
The astronauts on the International Space Station work on science experiments and the maintenance of equipment. They also spend at least 2 hours each day exercising and caring for themselves. They test various, everyday items to see how well they will work in space, including 3D printers.
Getting in touch with home is actually quite easy by using emails and videos. They also have the ability to Google just about anything such as music and movies to watch.
What’s really impressive, while on the space station, you will be able to view the sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes because you are orbiting the Earth over 15 times in one day!
The space station is literally orbiting the earth approximately 435km from the ground. It takes 8 minutes for a Soyuz transport capsule to reach that height and between 6 hours and 2 days to get its orbit in line with the space station in order to dock.
If you have that kind of money and qualify to visit the International Space Station, you will be one in a million! The experience would be absolutely mind-boggling and a holiday that you would never, ever forget!