NASA is set to start selling visits to the International Space Station (ISS) beginning in 2020, at the low-low price o $35,000 per night. Straight-up tourism, that is, in addition to space for various private business endeavors.
Before you get excited and start loading up the old space station wagon, know this: According to ISS deputy director Robyn Gatens, the first jaunts for average folks with space-faring money to burn will just happen two times a year.
That said, NASA will permit "private" astronauts to hang out for 30 days. In space.
NASA CFO Jeff DeWit said in announcing the new program that it's all about "opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we've never done before."
The opportunity, which is partly intended to reduce financial strain on the space agency, is currently only open to U.S. citizens. The great thing about lessening NASA's money woes with floating millionaires with money to burn, according to DeWit, is it will provide more money for efforts such as putting the first female astronaut on the Moon by 2024.