The world's first commercial space station is now accepting reservations for $55 million, in advance of its planned opening in 2022.
Axiom Space, a space tourism company, is behind the commercial space station. It will function like a combination of a hotel and a research facility, which will make it a great vacation option for space lovers who have $55 million to spare.
Axiom Space Station: What Will You Get For $55 Million?
The Axiom space station, which can host eight passengers, is on track to become the first operational commercial space station in the world, with its target opening of 2022. People who would like to be one of its first clients will each have to pay $55 million for the out-of-this-world experience.
The $55 million fee, which is mostly for the rocket ride to and from the space station, includes a 15-week training program mostly at the Johnson Space Center to prepare clients for space travel. Clients will likely be hitching a ride on a SpaceX rocket to get to the space station.
According to Axiom Space CEO and NASA veteran Mike Suffredini, three people have registered for on-the-ground training, which comes with a cost of $1 million, but he refused to name them. He added that the inaugural trip to the Axiom space station will have a $5 million discount.
"It's a bargain!" said Suffredini, though it is hard to imagine that description being attached to a trip that will cost $50 million.
The Axiom space station will be designed by Phiippe Starck, who is known as "industrial design's Willy Wonka."
"My vision is to create a comfortable egg, friendly, where walls are so soft and in harmony with the movements of the human body in zero gravity," Starck said in an e-mail to the New York Times, adding that he wants travelers to physically and mentally feel the sensation of floating in space.
The private cabins of the Axiom station will feature glass-walled cupolas for clients to gaze at Earth, along with padded walls and tiny LED lights. For navigation, the station will have hand holds that will be gold-plated or leather-wrapped. And, of course, Wi-Fi will be available.
Axiom Space Station Opens In 2022
The Axiom space station is planned to open in 2022, but according to the space tourism company, it will be able to start sending travelers into orbit as early as 2020. However, since the commercial space station will not yet be ready by then, customers will instead stay on the International Space Station.
The ISS is working with space tourism companies that are looking to launch their own commercial space stations like Axiom. It remains to be seen, however, how things will change if the plan for International Space Station privatization proceeds.