NASA reaches partnership for first private astronaut mission on International Space Station

Eight tourists have gone to the ISS before, but this would the first time station-bound civilians would launch from Florida

NASA reaches partnership for first private astronaut mission on International Space Station
NASA reaches partnership for first private astronaut mission on International Space Station

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – NASA and Axiom Space have signed an order for the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station to take place no earlier than January 2022.

A teleconference Monday detailed the mission.

A former NASA astronaut and three civilians would fly to the space station where they plan to not only enjoy the views with their $55 million tickets but also spend eight days working.

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NASA’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development program manager said Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) will be about more than tourism.

“There are many private professionals who are passionate about the betterment of mankind and who would like to do research and STEM activities on-board station,” Angela Hart said.

Eight tourists have gone to the ISS before, but this would the first time station-bound civilians would launch from Florida.

The billionaires would ride a SpaceX Dragon capsule launched by a Falcon 9 rocket.

Larry Connor is an American billionaire.

He made his fortune in real estate and tech but he’s also a private pilot.

He’s 71 and would become the second-oldest person in space after John Glenn.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We see ourselves as the first of many,” Connor told CBS News.

Axiom Space said it hopes commercial competition for space tourism will lower ticket prices over the years making space travel more accessible to civilians.

Tom Cruise was originally expected to be on this mission to film a movie scene on the space station.

Then earlier this year, it was announced Cruise and his director would not be going to space for an extra year or two.

NASA said the training starts this summer and the private crew could be ready to blast off as soon as January of next year.


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.