News & Opinion | June 8, 2019 11:27 am

The Commercialization of the International Space Station Has Begun

NASA will charge $35,000 a night for access to the ISS

Full view of the International Space Station. (NASA via Getty Images)
Full view of the International Space Station. (NASA via Getty Images)
Getty Images

The International Space Station (ISS) is officially open for business.

At the opening of the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York City on Friday morning, NASA announced it would be opening the International Space Station up to commercial activity and private astronauts, for a fee.

It won’t be cheap, either, as NASA plans to charge $35,000 a night for visitors to the stay on the ISS and have access to the “most amazing research facility ever built by humankind.” And that price doesn’t include transportation to the ISS. In fact, officials estimate a seat on a private rocket to the ISS, which could be provided via aerospace firms like SpaceX or Boeing, could cost nearly $60 million.

In addition to making money, NASA says it is opening the ISS up to commercial opportunities “so U.S. industry innovation and ingenuity can accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.”

“NASA realizes that we need help,” said NASA lead space exploration executive Bill Gerstenmaier. “We can’t do this alone. We’re reaching out to the U.S. private sector to see if you can push the economic frontier into space.”

The news has no impact on NASA’s intention to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

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