Initially reported by the Cable News Network (C.N.N.) Business Divisions’ Katie Hetter, the International Space Station (I.S.S.) will be opened for new commercial business and private astronaut utilization by United States (U.S.) entities.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) made the announcement today (6/7/2019) in a press-release that can be read by clicking here.
The goals of the interim directive are “to become one of many customers purchasing services from independent, commercial and free-flying habitable destinations in low-Earth orbit” (Long-term) and to “Stimulate Sustainable Demand,” according to Nasa (2019).
Accommodations on the I.S.S. will cost approximately $35,000 United States Dollars (U.S.D.) per night for each human being, which includes the food (board), water, comprehensive waste disposal (in an environmentally responsible manner), and the cost of oxygen [O2] (Hetter, 2019). I would like to personally recommend to N.A.S.A. that a stay on major holidays require a minimum of a three to four night stay. A fifty percent deposit and retainer of the stay reservation quote should be required to be financially transferred, certified, and independently verified prior to locking in the official reservation.
I.S.S. Commercial Operations:
“To qualify, commercial and marketing activities must either:
- Require the unique microgravity environment to enable manufacturing, production or development of a commercial application;
- Have a connection to NASA’s mission; or
- Support the development of a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy,” according to Nasa (2019).
I.S.S. Utilization by Private Astronaut Missions:
- “NASA also is enabling private astronaut missions of up to 30 days on the International Space Station to perform duties that fall into the approved commercial and marketing activities outlined in the directive released Friday, with the first mission as early as 2020” (Nasa, 2019).
- If supported by the market, the agency can accommodate up to two short-duration private astronaut missions per year to the International Space Station. These missions will be privately funded, dedicated commercial spaceflights. Private astronaut missions will use a U.S. spacecraft developed under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “NASA also is enabling private astronaut missions of up to 30 days on the International Space Station to perform duties that fall into the approved commercial and marketing activities outlined in the directive released Friday, with the first mission as early as 2020” (Nasa, 2019).
Details regarding applicant(s) required prerequisite(s) and alignment(s) criteria can be found in the publicly available and publicly published “RESEARCH OPPORTUNITES FOR ISS UTILIZATION” policy document, which can be viewed by clicking here.
N.A.S.A. is seeking feedback from industry and others regarding the new interim directive with a request of information, which can be accessed by clicking here (Nasa, 2019).
Hetter, K. (2019, June 7). NASA Opens Space Station To Private Astronaut Missions. http://www.cnn.com
Accessed on June 7, 2019.
Nasa. (2019, June 7). NASA Opens International Space Station to New Commercial Opportunities,
Private Astronauts NASA. http://www.nasa.gov
Accessed on June 7, 2019.