Michael López-Alegría, Mark Pathy, Larry Connor and Eytan Stibbe (from left) want to go to the ISS
Photo: Axiom Space
One is an astronaut, “the other three guys are normal people who want to go into space.
And we're giving them this opportunity, ”said Mike Suffredini when introducing the first private crew to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) next January.
On board the mission are:
He's in command and doesn't have to pay anything for the trip.
The 70-year-old would be the second oldest man in space.
And the Israeli businessman
He was a close friend of the Israeli spaceman Ilan Ramon, who died in 2003 when the space shuttle Columbia crashed.
Cost point: $ 55 million
“This is the first private flight to the International Space Station.
There's never been anything like it, ”said Suffredini of Axiom Space.
The US company is organizing the flight, which is to take off from the Cape Canaveral spaceport.
After a flight in the spacecraft "Dragon" of the SpaceX company, the space tourists are expected to dock with the ISS and spend eight days there.
The cost of the trip: 55 million US dollars, the equivalent of 45 million euros.
The ISS has been flying around the earth at an altitude of around 400 kilometers since 1998.
According to NASA, there have been a good 150 visitors since then.
Most of them were professional astronauts, only seven people came into space as tourists.
The last time the Hungarian-born American Charles Simonyi was on the ward as a private person was in 2009.
Space tourists usually stay much shorter on the ISS than professional astronauts - between one and two weeks.
In the coming years, significantly more private individuals should have the chance to visit the ISS.
As early as the summer of 2019, NASA had announced that it would approve "two short missions per year for private astronauts".
The Russian space agency Roskosmos had also announced that it wanted to open the ISS for two tourists to visit.
The end of 2021 was named as the start date.
According to the information, Roskosmos has already signed a contract with the US company Space Adventures, which specializes in space tourism.
Other trips into space are much cheaper
The fact that Nasa and Roskosmos want to let tourists on the ISS again in the coming years is also due to the fact that Russia has reduced its crew from three to two astronauts for cost reasons.
This means that there is always a free space.
The departure of several space tourists to the ISS is a novelty.
The amateur astronauts now have to go through medical tests and should be prepared for the trip into space over a period of 15 weeks.
So that the flight is not just a private pleasure, all three space tourists are planning to take part in research in orbit.
Other space companies such as Blue Origin from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are also planning private flights into space.
However, these should only take a few minutes.
But they would be much cheaper.
Instead of millions of dollars, travelers would only have to pay a few hundred thousand dollars.
The first flights are planned for this year.
Icon: The mirror
koe / AP