Each year, two private astronauts will be able to stay on the ISS up to 30 days each. They will have to pay the agency’s expenses of about $35,000 per day. At the same time, the agency will also permit a private module to dock with the space station. There are some requirements: the visitors have to get there via a commercial US spacecraft, such as SpaceX’s or Boeing’s upcoming vehicles. Seven private astronauts have visited the ISS until now. Richard Garriott, an English-American entrepreneur who paid $30 million to Russia for a two-week stay on the ISS in 2008 remembered his trip saying: “The food is not phenomenal and the personal hygiene facilities are substantially lacking.”
NASA pays about $3-$4 billion a year to maintain and operate its space station. The commercial goals mean NASA would not de-orbit the space station in 2025, as has been previously discussed, and instead keep it operational for longer, possibly through 2030. The agency will not coordinate the trips directly but plans to work with outside firms. Private commercial entities would be responsible for determining crew composition and ensuring that the private astronauts meet the medical and training requirements for spaceflight. Companies like SpaceX are making the promise of cheaper commercial travel.