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Two very wealthy citizens will fly to the International Space Station

Published Jan 26th, 2021 7:15PM EST
space tourism
Image: NASA

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  • Axiom Space announced its intention to use SpaceX to launch the first fully private flight to the ISS last year.
  • Now, the company has announced the individuals that will be aboard that flight, including a pair of investors.
  • The four-man crew will spend just over a week aboard the space station, and the cost is absolutely astronomical.

Have you ever wanted to travel into space? Of course you have! Even if you didn’t dream of becoming an astronaut when you were a kid, surely the year 2020 made you wish you could just leave this planet entirely, right? Well, a group of four private citizens will soon be able to do just that, and two of them are along for the ride simply because they’re very, very wealthy.

Axiom Space just announced that along with former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and former fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, real estate investor Larry Connor and investor Mark Pathy will travel to the International Space Station as part of the first fully private flight to the ISS ever. Axiom struck a deal with SpaceX to launch the mission, and it’s expected to happen sometime after January of next year.

Now, before you go dreaming of what it might be like to travel into space, there’s something you should know: It costs a lot. In fact, “a lot” really doesn’t even fully capture the scope of the cost. As CNBC reports, the mission will cost approximately $55 million… per person.

That’s well over $200 million for the four-person crew, and the vacation from the planet won’t even really last that long. For their tens of millions of dollars, the men will enjoy eight days aboard the ISS before having to return to Earth. It’s unclear exactly what they’ll get to do while aboard the ISS, but these aren’t NASA astronauts, so it’s not like they’ll be fiddling with any instruments, at least on an official basis.

But whatever the crew ends up doing during their time in Earth orbit, it’s safe to say that this is a truly groundbreaking mission. Sending humans into space isn’t easy, and sending humans that want to go to space just because they can is something that has only been done a handful of times before. For the two investors taking the trip, they’ll be the first of a new breed of space tourists, but they definitely won’t be the last.

Companies like SpaceX and others have long bet on the idea that space tourism will become big business for the ultra-rich in the not-so-distant future. I mean, what better way to flex your monetary muscle than traveling to the International Space Station for an eight-day getaway? That’s something your neighbors definitely won’t be able to match.