SpaceX on Thursday announced plans to send three tourists to the International Space Station aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission will be the first private trip to space in more than a decade.
The rocket company, founded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, signed a deal with startup Axiom Space to send a professionally trained commander along with private astronauts to spend eight days at the ISS. The mission is set to launch by the end of 2021.
Begin the countdown to the first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station.
— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) March 5, 2020
The companies, in a joint statement called this the “first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission” to the ISS.
“This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space — a first for a commercial entity. Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we’re glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort,” Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said in a statement.
It is not yet clear how much each ticket will cost. But with the cost of launching a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at around $60 million (€53.4 million), plus the cost of building a fresh Dragon capsule, estimated to be over $100 million, the tourists will likely be paying tens of millions for their trip.