These Space Tourists Are Each Paying $55M to Stay on the ISS

Space tourism will take a big boost next year when a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule flies three private individuals to the International Space Station (ISS).

Organizer Axiom Space announced Tuesday the crew of four for a mission that marks the first fully privately funded trip to the orbiting outpost about 250 miles above the earth.

The crew of the Ax-1 mission consists of the Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy, the American entrepreneur Larry Connor and the former Israeli air force pilot Eytan Stibbe. The mission commander for the historic undertaking will be former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría.

The Ax-1 crew from left to right: Michael López-Alegría, Mark Pathy, Larry Connor and Eytan Stibbe Axiom space

According to reports, each of the three paying crew members will spend a staggering $ 55 million on a seat on the Crew Dragon starship.

Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space, said: “This is just the first of several Axion Space crews whose private missions to the ISS will truly open an expansive future for humans in space – and make a meaningful difference in the world. when they return home. “

The company is now working with every so-called “Axionaut” to develop ISS activities that will enable them to achieve their personal mission goals and “global spotlight on the causes that are most important worldwide”.

The mission

After the four crew members are fired from a Falcon 9 rocket and flown to the space station aboard the Crew Dragon, they will stay in the US segment of the ISS for about eight days working on their selected research and philanthropic projects.

Connor plans to partner with the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic on a number of research projects, while Pathy will partner with the Canadian Space Agency and Montreal Children’s Hospital on health-related research projects. Stibbe will conduct scientific experiments for Israeli researchers and entrepreneurs coordinated by the Ramon Foundation and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as educational activities for Israeli children and educators.

The three crew members will not be the first to pay for their own way to the ISS, although they will be the first to deploy a commercially built spaceship. In 2001, for example, the former rocket engineer Dennis Tito was the first paying passenger to visit the space station. The round-trip ticket cost space tourists $ 20 million. Since then, six more space tourists have visited the ISS and reached the satellite aboard a Russian Soyuz spaceship in missions organized by Virginia-based Space Adventures.

Others looking to jump into space tourism include Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, although their services offer suborbital journeys that last just a few minutes and go no further than the 62 km high Karman Line, widely believed to be the starting point of space . SpaceX is also partnering with Space Adventures for future space tourism trips that will orbit the earth at a higher point than the ISS.

The first launch opportunity for the Ax-1 mission is in January 2022, subject to final approval by NASA and its international partners.

Axiom Space aims to fly up to two private missions per year to the space station to offer the super-rich a novel way to use up some of their change.

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