Since its inception in 1998, the International Space Station has been manned by astronauts from the US, Russia and other countries such as France, who are currently with Thomas Pesquet. All astronauts who have had the opportunity to take part in these excursions are handpicked. All of them have completed a long training course, which was interrupted by several physical and mental tests, so that the stay in orbit goes well.
However, NASA has been considering opening the ISS to some private companies for a number of years. The US space agency has already worked with Axiom Space and similar companies to see how this could play out. Also knowing that some scenes from the next film Mission Impossible were supposed to take place in the ISS.
A first expedition is planned
Everything has accelerated this week. NASA and Axiom Space have announced that the first private astronaut mission to the ISS is planned. Let’s not get carried away, we have to wait until January 2022 for this to happen. As part of this first mission, a crew of four private astronauts will travel to the ISS, where NASA will host them. They will spend a total of eight days in space before returning to Earth.
Of course, this does not mean that everyone can get to the ISS. The four astronauts are selected by NASA and must adhere to the protocol established by the space agency.
Kathryn Lueders, an American engineer stationed at NASA as Director of Human Spaceflight, said in a statement: “We are delighted that more people are gaining access to space travel thanks to this first private astronaut mission to the US space station. One of our original goals in the Commercial Crew Program and again in the Low Earth Orbit Business Development Program is to have our suppliers have customers other than NASA in order to develop a commercial economy in the Low Earth Orbit. “
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