By Leah Crane
SpaceX is offering tickets for space tourists to fly on the same type of spacecraft that will bring NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Through a partnership with the space tourism firm Space Adventures, four tickets are on sale to soar far above the ISS in a Crew Dragon capsule.
Space Adventures isn’t new to the space tourism game: between 2001 and 2009, it sent seven private individuals to the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz craft, charging tens of millions of dollars per trip. Since then, it has continued to sell tickets to space to wealthy individuals such as Google co-founder Sergey Brin, but hasn’t flown any other missions.
Now, the firm is poised to resume its flights. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft was developed to bring NASA astronauts to the ISS, and completed a flight to the ISS without crew in March. Its first mission with crew is planned for this year.
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The flight with tourists is slated to launch after this, in late 2021 or 2022, but it will take a different trajectory. The mission will orbit Earth for up to five days at an altitude two to three times higher than the ISS, tweeted Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson.
“The price of the mission will not be disclosed, but [is] in the range as other orbital spaceflight opportunities,” says Space Adventures representative Stacey Tearne. Prices for other Space Adventures flights have ranged from around $20 million for a trip to the ISS to $150 million for future flights around the moon.
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