Three people have booked on the world’s first private flight to the International Space Station ISS. The trio pays SEK 458 million each to accompany Spacex’s spaceships back and forth.
In a year, it’s time – then the world’s first private flight to the ISS takes off. Since 2001, space tourists have been able to travel with Russian spaceships, but now it’s time for the next step.
The three people who have booked their place on the premiere tour are Larry Connor, a real estate and tech contractor from the USA, the Canadian financier Mark Pathy and the Israeli business leader and former fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe.
Departure next year
The tour guide is the former Nasa astronaut Michael López-Alegria, who now works for the company Axiom Space. He is well known in space circles while the other three travelers are “guys who simply want to go to space”, according to Axiom’s CEO. For that, they pay 55 million dollars each, which corresponds to 458 million kronor.
The departure will take place in January 2022. The journey to the ISS, which takes place with a Spacex spacecraft, will take between one and two days. Then the tourists will spend eight days on the International Space Station before it is time to return to Earth.
Fifteen weeks of training
But it is not free to just jump on board – every space tourist must first pass medical tests and then undergo a fifteen-week training program.
Axiom’s long-term goal is to build and maintain its own space station for tourism, so that it does not become dependent on the ISS.
But this very expensive space tourism is not the only one that is about to grow. An alternative is being developed by, among others, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ company Blue Origin. Then it’s about short trips up into space, to experience the weightless state, and then go back again. Virgin Galactic, owned by Richard Branson, has similar plans. Those trips would be significantly cheaper and faster than the long trips that Axiom now organizes.