NASA has announced today that it is soon opening up its International Space Station (ISS) to commercial business in an effort to expand the station’s uses beyond research and development. The move would allow private astronauts to embark on more recreational ventures at the ISS as early as 2020.
According to NASA’s press release, the approved commercial and marketing activities must fall under one of three main areas:
1) require the unique microgravity environment to enable manufacturing, production or development of a commercial application;
2) have a connection to NASA’s mission; or
3) support the development of a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy.
Private astronauts will be able to take missions on the ISS for up to 30 days and are expected to travel via U.S. Spacecraft.
The initiative falls in line with NASA’s goal of landing on the moon again by 2024, in which it hopes to bring the first woman there.
— NASA (@NASA) June 7, 2019