By Leah Crane
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on the company’s Falcon 9 rocketSpaceXSpaceX is planning to send three tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) next year. The trip is part of a partnership with the Houston-based start-up Axiom Space.
Private citizens have flown to the ISS before, but they have all launched in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. This trip, which will use a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, will be the first launch of private citizens aboard a private spacecraft to the ISS.
This follows NASA’s announcement last year that it would be opening up the ISS to more commercial activities. “This history-making flight will represent a watershed moment in the march toward universal and routine access to space,” Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said in a statement. Tickets for the 10-day trip will reportedly cost about $55 million.