NASA to open space station for commercial businesses

Want to go to space? NASA may enable 2 private, commercial missions each year.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

International Space Station
International Space Station

NASA is opening the International Space Station for commercial business, the agency's site said.

According to NASA, the goal is to allow "US industry innovation and ingenuity" to "accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit."

Meanwhile, NASA aims to land a woman and another man on the moon by 2024.

According to the federal agency's website, NASA "will continue research and testing in low-Earth orbit to inform its lunar exploration plans, while also working with the private sector to test technologies, train astronauts and strengthen the burgeoning space economy."

"Providing expanded opportunities at the International Space Station to manufacture, market and promote commercial products and services will help catalyze and expand space exploration markets for many businesses," the site added.

Over 50 companies are currently conducting commercial research and development on the space station, via the International Space Station US National Laboratory. Eleven companies have installed 14 commercial facilities at the station, supporting research and development projects.

Initially, 5% of NASA's budget will go to allocating crew resources and cargo capability, as well as 175 kg of cargo launch capability and 90 hours of crew time. However, the amount provided to any given company will be limited.

Private astronauts will potentially be able to go on missions of up to 30 days, and the first mission could leave as early as next year. The missions, up to two a year, will be privately funded commercial flights, using a US spacecraft developed by NASA.