Axiom, a Houston-based private space company has signed a partnership with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to fly tourists to the International Space Station. This can happen as early as the second half of 2021. SpaceX will use their Crew Dragon capsule to bring three tourists and a staff member of Axiom, to ensure that there are no disturbances to the NASA crew, to the orbiting lab.
SpaceX originally developed the Crew Dragon capsule to take astronauts to space from US soil. Its first manned flight with NASA astronauts is expected to take place between April and June. That’s not all, the company also intends to expand the spacecraft’s uses by taking paying astronauts outside our planet. It is also worth noting that the company had also signed a deal with Space Adventures in February to take tourists on a free-flying trip to orbit the earth at two to three times the altitude of the ISS.
The Axiom mission is set to last 10 days out of which two days will be for travelling to and from the space station. Neither party has revealed how much this trip would cost. However, according to The New York Times, Axiom had said previously that a seat would cost USD 55 million (about RM230 million) and that one person had already signed up for it. In 2019, NASA had announced that it was opening up the station to private astronauts, it said it would cost USD 35,000 (about RM146,000) a night for each person.
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