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Axiom Space, a spaceflight service startup, will make it possible for tourists to travel to space.
The startup has partnered with rocket and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX to send three tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) in the latter part of 2021. Axiom Space will handle the logistics of the mission, such as the training, planning, life and medical support, and certifications. On the other hand, SpaceX will provide the spacecraft.
The three tourists will spend a total of 10 days in space. They will spend two days traveling to and from the ISS and eight days aboard it. An Axiom Space-trained astronaut will join the tourists and serve as the spacecraft’s flight commander. Tickets for the space mission reportedly cost around $55 million each, and one ticket has already been sold.
Axiom Space said that it wants to offer two flights a year to tourists. To achieve this goal, the company has been tapping investors and already raised around $16 million.
The Axiom spaceflight marks an important milestone in the quest to provide regular and easy access to space for everyone. Last year, NASA announced its plans to open the ISS to more space tourism missions. According to the space agency, it will charge companies $35,000 a night for each tourist staying at the ISS as compensation for providing air, water, and internet. Axiom Space plans to contribute a portion of its space tourism ticket sales to NASA’s future space missions.