The space agency NASA has announced that it has picked Boeing and Space X to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. Boeing is planning on developing a ‘space taxi’ for NASA astronauts and it will include a seat for tourists who want to go on vacation to the International Space Station.
Boeing Commercial Crew Program Manager, John Mullholland stated that the price to take tourists to outer space has not been announced yet, but Boeing has agreed to a 5-year agreement of $4.2 billion. Would you pay $50 million to ride on a space taxi? That’s what the Russian Space Agency is charging. NASA has set a goal of 2017 for the first launch under the program. Boeing is now hoping to begin work with the ISS program to make this dream a reality and to spur the space industry once again. So, flying tourists in space just might be the next big thing.
According to Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures, Sarah Brightman, a British singer is going to begin training in January for a 10-day visit to the station, a trip costing $52 million. She is said to be the eighth paying passenger to travel to the station.
Boeing’s rival Space Exploration technologies say they can develop a space taxi for 40 percent less cost than Boeing. That’s $2.6 million versus Boeing’s $4.2 million bid. Space X already plans to offer trips to tourists, but did not disclose any information regarding whether it would take tourists on its NASA mission. NASA awarded the contracts to Boeing and Space X for their cover design, building, testing their spaceship and up to six missions to fly astronauts to the station, almost two per year.
Since the United States do not want to rely on Russian made engines for rocket launches, United Launch Alliance will invest in new rocket engines being developed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his private company Blue Origin.
By good fortune, this multi-billion dollar contract to build space taxis for NASA to ferry astronauts to and from orbit is slowly becoming a reality. American aerospace giant Boeing will be accomplishing a task we can only dream of and it will end NASA’s expensive reliance on Russian-made engines to ferry astronauts to the space station. You can rely on Boeing and Space X along with NASA if you want to get a taste of what it’s like to blast into orbit. “To the moon Alice…To the moon”.