NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly captured an aurora from the International Space Station in this NASA handout photo taken on June 23, 2015..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NASA is throwing open the doors of the International Space Station (ISS) for commercial business, which means that you could be spending your next vacation in the final frontier – space.
The five-part near-term plan comes as NASA focuses on landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, the U.S. agency said in an announcement on June 7.
Private companies will be able to lease part of the ISS as part of the plans, which means the sky is the limit in terms of possible commercial endeavors. Film crews could, for example, create an entire feature film aboard the floating lab.
The plan would create a ‘new economy,’ by enabling the use of government resources for commercial activities, creating the opportunity for private astronaut missions to the space station and enabling commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit, NASA said in a statement.
Before commercial activities like ‘space-cations’ become possible on the ISS, companies will need to bid for commercial opportunities there.
Activities aboard the space station are not expected to be cheap, and it remains to be seen what activities will be possible on the ISS.
NASA says awards will be made by the end of the fiscal year.
The possibility of a vacation above Earth has been floating around for a while.
The first space hotel is set to open in 2021 on the Aurora Space Station. Orion Span, which is the company behind the innovative hotel among the stars, believes it could host four lucky (and wealthy) tourists for a period of 12 days for $9.5 mil.
These tourists would not only have to be wealthy, they would also need to do a three-month training program before leaving Earth. They will, however, get to experience the unique sensation of floating in space outside of the Earth's gravitational pull and see our planet from space – a sight few have been privileged to see.
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