NASA To Allow Private Citizens On Space Station

By Penny Zhou

NASA unveiled its plan on Friday to open the International Space Station for commercial businesses. American companies will be able to send their people, private citizens who are not professional astronauts, to space to make a commercial or develop products.

NASA unveils plan to open the International Space Station to commercial businesses at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York. (Shelbi Malonson/NTD)
NASA unveils plan to open the International Space Station to commercial businesses at the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York. (Shelbi Malonson/NTD)

NASA said this new move is aimed to help fund the space station’s operations so that NASA can focus more resources on its mission to send the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

The trip could happen as early as next year. Two visitors will be allowed to make that trip each year. The private astronauts can stay in the international space station for up to 30 days.

On the news conference at Nasdaq’s headquarters in New York, NASA’s chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said that NASA could charge roughly $35,000 dollars per night per astronaut.

Special conditions like microgravity and hard vacuum make possible industrial processes not reproducible on earth. So, more companies are seeking the chance to do research and make products in space.