NASA Plans To Open The International Space Station To Tourism

NASA announced on that it will allow private companies to arrange leisure trips to the International Space Station.

NASA announced on Friday that it will allow private companies to arrange leisure trips to the International Space Station (I.S.S.), three months after President Trump proposed eliminating the artificial satellite's federal funding, according to the New York Times.

Companies will pay the agency $35,000 per night to use the facilities but would charge consumers a much larger amount to finance rocket flights and a healthy profit.

Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace and Houston’s Axiom Space have already started making arrangements with NASA. Bigelow has already reserved space for four launched, and announced it would use four-seat Space X vehicles to lift tourists to the stations.

The agency also said it would call for proposals this month to add a “commercial module” to the station. The government entity will make a decision on that project by the year-end, according to the Times.

The announcement comes months after Trump said he would eliminate federal funding for the I.S.S. by 2025, in order to channel $150 million to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

The agency spends an estimated $4 billion per year to maintain the station, according to figures released on Wednesday.

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