People who want to see the universe for themselves could be buying out-of-this-world tickets soon worth millions of dollars.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has plans to sell private space tickets. It will be one-way tickets that will take space tourists to and from the International Space Station. If the plan pursues, it would be the first venture for the US.
Russia, on the other hand, started dispatching tourists into space since 2001. If Yuri Gagarin was the first person to journey into space, American business magnate Dennis Tito is the first tourist to fund his own expedition. It was reported that it cost him $20 million to go aboard the Soyuz to reach ISS. Following the event was a notion to establish a lavish hotel in the ISS for travelers with a booking price of $20 million for a 14-day vacation.
Tito boarded the Soyuz spacecraft on April 28, 2001, along with Cdr. Talgat Musabayev and Yury Baturin, a flight engineer. Both are Russian cosmonauts and were tasked to bring supplies to ISS. They all returned to Earth on May 6, 2001 landing on Kazakhstan savannas.
On Friday, the NASA advisory subcommittee supported the concept of sending tourists into space. However, it’s still in the immature stage and is a part of the agency’s scheme to better involve in the public’s awareness by collaborating with the public sector. Such recommendations need the approval of the whole advisory council and will then be addressed to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Maxar Technologies general counsel Michael Gold said, “Just like in the early days of aviation, with barnstorming, these initial activities will help build the infrastructure and the foundation that can lead to future innovations that, frankly, we cannot imagine right now.”
Aside from selling tickets to private individuals, NASA is considering enabling its logo to be used in commercials. It also thinks of authorizing its astronauts to also show up in commercials in an effort to bolster the agency’s brand. Another reason is that the White House is aiming to cease direct sponsoring of the ISS by 2025. The government would want to pass on the orbiting lab to a commercial body.
NASA might require millions of dollars for a spacecraft ride. The spacecraft has been engineered by SpaceX and Boeing to send crews to ISS. The income that the sales will generate will support the agency to enable commercialization of space platforms in and beyond the bounds of low Earth orbit, according to the advisory group.
The group likewise seeks how NASA can chill out some of the regulations that hinder the agency from boosting certain products or services.
Bridenstine said that NASA possesses the best brand in the world and is crucial for them to make certain that they are using it in a sort of way that will help people around the world recognize the US in a different nature.
He added that he would like to see in the future the images of NASA astronauts on the cereal box cover, deep-seated into the American culture. Selling brands will build up the unfolding of space happenings in the well-known culture. Exclusive space travel can be another maneuver to further the agency’s grip on society’s awareness.
Would you spend millions of dollars to get into the outer space?