08:18 GMT29 March 2020
Listen Live
    Tech
    Get short URL
    116
    Subscribe

    Earlier, in February, SpaceX signed a deal with Space Adventures to send four tourists deeper into the orbit than any other private astronaut, on a venture that could take place by 2022 and cost more than $100 million.

    Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has announced it has signed a contract with startup Axiom Space to send three tourists to the International Space Station as early as next year.

    Breaking the news on 5 March, the companies issued a joint statement, touting the venture as the "first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission" to the ISS.

    "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. Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we're glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort," said Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom.

    ​SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell echoed:

    "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."

    Individuals capable of covering the hefty cost of a “ticket to space”, estimated at $55million (£42million) according to the New York Post, will travel together with a trained flight commander on SpaceX’s fully-autonomous capsule “Crew Dragon”.

    Axiom will be providing the training, hardware, life support, medical support, crew provisions, safety certifications and on-orbit operations for space travelers.

    ​Measuring about 13-feet across, the capsule will link up with the space station to enable the passengers to spend around eight days in space before being ferried back to Earth. The ambitious mission is set to launch sometime in the second half of 2021.

    SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will require certification for human spaceflight and will need to prove it can serve its intended purpose to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the ISS before the trip becomes reality.

    In 2019 NASA said it would allow up to two trips to the ISS per year for non-government astronauts.

    Up until now, eight tourists have visited the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz rockets, with American engineer Dennis Tito the trailblazer in 2001, and the last being Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte in 2009.

    Space tourist Guy Laliberte of the 21st ISS mission main crew seen at a maintenance and checkout facility at the Baikonur Space Center. File photo
    © Sputnik / Mikhail Fomichev
    Space tourist Guy Laliberte of the 21st ISS mission main crew seen at a maintenance and checkout facility at the Baikonur Space Center. File photo

    Earlier, in February, SpaceX signed a deal with Space Adventures to send four tourists deeper into orbit than any other private astronaut, hoping the mission could take place by 2022.

    Space Adventure's president Tom Shelley told AFP the ambition goal was to try and reach about “two to three times the height of the space station”, which is 400 kilometers above Earth’s surface.

     

     

    Related:

    SpaceX Announces It Will Send Space Tourists Deeper Into Orbit as Early as 2022
    Watch: SpaceX's Starship SN1 Prototype Explode During Pressure Test
    SpaceX Launches 20th Resupply Mission to ISS - Video
    Tags:
    International Space Station, International Space Station, International Space Station, International Space Station (ISS), International Space Station (ISS), ISS, Crew Dragon Spacecraft, Crew Dragon, SpaceX, SpaceX, SpaceX
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook