NASA to Send More Tourists to International Space Station

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On this new period of area tourism, Russia’s Roscosmos area company has already despatched 4 novice astronauts to the Worldwide House Station in two missions since October, whereas NASA is gearing up for its first such flight in February 2022, organized by non-public spaceflight firm Axiom utilizing SpaceX {hardware}.

This week NASA introduced its second non-public mission to the ISS, once more utilizing Axiom. Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) is aiming to launch between fall 2022 and late spring 2023.

A rocket carrying the crew will carry off from NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Florida and keep docked on the area station for as much as 14 days.

There’s no phrase but on who will probably be taking the flight, however hypothesis might concentrate on actor Tom Cruise after NASA confirmed final 12 months that it was speaking to the Hollywood legend about utilizing the orbiting outpost to shoot scenes for a film. However with Russian film star Yulia Peresild not too long ago beating Cruise to grow to be the primary actor to shoot a film in area, it’s not clear if the journey nonetheless holds the identical attract for the American entertainer.

“NASA and its worldwide companions will evaluation non-public astronauts alternatives proposed by Axiom for the Ax-2 mission, as is customary for any area station crew,” the area company mentioned on Monday. “The proposed crew members would bear NASA medical qualification testing to be accredited for flight.”

Commercializing low-Earth orbit

Spaceflights to the ISS involving non-public residents are a part of NASA’s objective to commercialize low-Earth orbit.

Axiom’s first mission early subsequent 12 months will take three civilians and a former astronaut to the area station for a keep lasting a few week. Every of the three civilians — an investor, an entrepreneur, and a former fighter pilot — has reportedly paid an eye-watering $55 million for the journey of a lifetime, with the money cut up between Axiom, SpaceX, and NASA.

Throughout their time aboard the station, the non-public astronauts will work on their very own analysis and varied philanthropic tasks.

In addition to the actor and filmmaker who visited the ISS in October courtesy of a number of Russian media firms, Roscosmos extra not too long ago took two Japanese area vacationers to the ISS, one in every of them billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. It’s not identified how a lot he paid for the journey.

Whereas critics may say the area companies are turning the ISS right into a playground for the super-rich, a few of the cash handed over by the vacationers will probably be used to finance ongoing scientific work aboard the orbiting laboratory, taking the burden off taxpayers and doubtlessly resulting in developments in science and know-how that profit people again on terra firma.

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