back to article NASA goes commercial, publishes price for trips to the ISS – and it'll be multi-millionaires only for this noAirBNB

NASA on Friday said it is opening the International Space Station for commercial business, a policy change expected to lead to employees of private companies working aboard the ISS as early as next year, with tourists to follow. "We are announcing the availability for private astronauts to visit the space station on US …

  1. JeffyPoooh

    Zero-g Bonk fee?

    Surprisingly, it's not listed.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

      Maybe that's under negotiation right now. Recoup costs by posting a video on Pornhub?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

      Queen size sleepy bag? with snap hooks on the corners? Just be sure you are signed up for the 12am to 4 am shift; and perform your zero G exercise studies...

    3. VikiAi

      Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

      I'm sure I read somewhere about difficulty maintaining an errction in zero G conditions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

        On the plus side, you can always legitimately claim it's up, because that's not that well defined in zero G :)

        1. JJKing

          Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

          I'm sure I read somewhere about difficulty maintaining an erection in zero G conditions.

          Shirley that's not hard?

          And stop calling me surely.

      2. Phil Kingston

        Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

        >I'm sure I read somewhere about difficulty maintaining an errction in zero G conditions

        That's my excuse

    4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


      Given the technologies that have benefited from the pr0n industry, why not Space Exploration?

      International Space Station International Sex Studio

      ---> icon: Mackintosh

    5. DropBear

      Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

      Oh sure, one more place where one gender gets in free if showing up before ten without a partner...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zero-g Bonk fee?

      The first Woman on the moon not the first, I'm sure the ISS already has footage of it somewhere...

  2. notamole

    I wish these politicians would stop dicking NASA around. He was the one who said Mars was a waste of time and they should be going to the Moon. Usually I would just chalk this up to his inability to hold a thought in his head for 7 consecutive seconds, but this has been going on since the 90s. Once congress approves funds for a mission it should be locked in, with no ability to change it unless it goes through a congressional review (e.g. in the case of going massively over budget).

    How does anyone expect them to accomplish anything when they plans keep changing with every administration (and now changing with the president's bowel movements)? It was the Moon under HW Bush, then Mars under Clinton, then the Moon under Bush, then Mars under Obama, then the Moon then Mars under Trump.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "How does anyone expect them to accomplish anything when they plans keep changing with every administration"

      It's by design mate. Nothing ever has to happen and the status quo can be preserved.

      Side effect of a two party system or a basterdised version of democracy?

      Hmmm . . . . . . . . I'd love to hear what Sir John Curtice thinks. Doubt he reads the reg though.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Side effect of a two party system?

        It's a multi-party system, sadly belonging to anything besides the big two political religion\cults labels you as a crackpot. And the other political parties are not given equal opportunities to participate, or so it would seem.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Side effect of a two party system?

          So . . . . . . a two party system then?

          (it doesn't matter what it says it is, it matters how it operates in practice)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. DropBear

            Re: Side effect of a two party system?

            How dare you! Next you'll tell me all those places called People's Socialist Democratic Republic and suchlike are none of those things either...?!?

        2. JeffyPoooh

          Re: Side effect of a two party system?

          Somewhere I read that a two-party system is more-or-less a result of the 'first past the post' voting system. You can have 3rd etc parties, but they'll never amount to much. And 2nd & 3rd might eventually switch places. It's a general outcome.

          If you want a vibrantly-dysfunctional multiparty celebration of ineffective chaos, where every fringe view lunatic gets to have a say, then you bring in proportional voting schemes. Italy seems to be the poster child example.

          1. Adair Silver badge

            Re: Side effect of a two party system?

            PR actually tends to be saner than FPTP, but where human beings are involved insanity is always an option.

            Frankly one does not even need to leave the borders of the UK to see a broken and anachronistic example of FPTP in all its rotten glory.

          2. Pen-y-gors

            Re: Side effect of a two party system?

            To be fair, there's PR and there's PR.

            Israel - bad example - get 1.25% or so of the national vote and you get a seat in the Knesset. So serious nutter representation.

            But if you go down the 4/5 member seat STV route, a party needs to get about 20% in an area to get a seat, so not exactly nutters. And voting habits change under that sort of system. The big parties have to put up several named candidates, so Tory voters can choose which Tory they least dislike, and then give 2nd pref to a Green or Libdem. Yep, you may end up with coalitions and compromise. Is that a bad thing? Also tends to seriously cut down on the white, male, middle-class, right-wing, merchant-banker with a PPE degree hegemony.

            And what's the alternative? FPTP is more likely to give a 'strong and stable' govt, but one that is totally unepresentative of the wishes of the voters. If that's what you want might as well just have a military dictatorship!

          3. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Side effect of a two party system?

            "Italy seems to be the poster child example."

            There are PR voting schemes and there are PR voting schemes. The differences can be subtle but important.

            Italy, Germany and New Zealand all use MMP - The differences are in the national vote level threshold requirements for a party to get seats if they don't win any at regional levels - Germany uses 5% and is very stable (government of concensus), Italy uses 2% and is full of looney fringes (the lunatics have taken over the asylum)

            NZ (A former FPTP country) started at 5%, decreased it to 3.5% and so far seems to have keep the looney fringes mostly at bay - enough so that when the country had a referendum on whether to keep MMP or return to FPTP, MMP won a resounding victory (as it did when first proposed, _despite_ mass media opposition from both main parties and business interests all predicting doom and gloom)

            One of the more curious effects of MMP - and electing a _small_ number of arguably fringeish parties to national office - is the very bright and unblinking media spotlight they're usually unprepared for. New Zealand's Christian Democrats found this out the hard way as their MPs' less savoury past activities came to light - and then the party compounded their issues by simply "erasing" said MPs from all documented existence and memory in a way that would have made Stalin proud - pretending they never happened, rather than apologising for what _had_ happened.

          4. david 12 Silver badge

            Re: Side effect of a two party system?

            Proportional Voting is not the same as, or even the cause of, Proportional Representation. First past the post voting can be (and often is) used in Proportional Representation systems.

            Proportional Voting is most often used for electing organizational officials, (And you can't have a proportional president!)

            And proportional voting is not the only alternative to First Past The Post voting. Preferential voting (which is the same as open primaries, or run-off elections) is another alternative to FPTP. Preferential voting (or run-off elections, if your public is illiterate and innumerate) are a means of including and engaging minorities at the electoral level, rather than at the representation level.

            Bottom line: voting systems are independent of representation systems.

          5. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Side effect of a two party system?

            This CPGgrey video explains quite clearly why FPTP is a terrible voting system doomed to become a 2 party system.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Side effect of a two party system?

          "It's a multi-party system"...oh ffs

          It's a bunch of actors controlled by a handful of special Interest groups.

          If you haven't figured that out by now run for office and find out, it's all a big joke on the public's dime.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      The question is now: "Which moon?". Go back an read his Tweet.

      1. notamole

        I hear Deimos is nice this time of year.

        1. hplasm

          It's not that I don't like Deimos ...

          It just makes me anxious...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I hate to be the one to defend Mr. Trump's... odd... use of... well, whatever language it is that he speaks; it's certainly not English nor even American. But in this case I think it's pretty obvious he meant that *missions to the moon* are a part of achieving successful *missions to Mars*, not that the moon is physically contained within the planet Mars. Granted, I'm not as sure about this as I'd like to be, but I'm still pretty sure. Especially since this tweet was during daytime hours, not drunk-drugged-out-sleep-deprived-more-insane-than-usual hours. Shudder.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          You can usually get more context to his twitter rants by looking at what was on Fox News in the previous half hour.

          In this case it was probably a segment on Fox Business.

      3. IT Poser

        Re: The question is now: "Which moon?"

        Endor of course. We need to get that fancy wall technology the president saw in a documentary. Even better, the Ewoks are going to pay for it.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge

          Re: The question is now: "Which moon?"

          For once Ewoks are funny...

      4. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        That's no moon....

        Mines the one with the cape sewn on.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        The question is now: "Which moon?".

        That's no moon!

        (someone had to say it)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Once congress approves funds for a mission it should be locked in, with no ability to change it unless it goes through a congressional review

      Nothing stops Congress from passing legislation to this effect, nor from passing appropriations bills for specific missions. If they chose to do so, only a subsequent Congress could alter, scrub, or defund the mission. Not to say that Congress wouldn't still dick around (whom are we kidding?) but the president would have no say in which missions to prioritise or fund, only the mechanics of NASA's execution of those missions. Never forget that in the American system of government, Congress is supreme in almost every way that doesn't involve military operations, if only it chooses to use its lawful powers.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        > Congress is supreme in almost every way

        Except in their way of working: "Let's see what the other party decides so we can vote against it"...

    4. macjules

      Well. being Trump at least he didn't say. "I want NASA to go to Uranus"

    5. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Trump: I want the USA to put a lander on Jupiter.

      NASA: We can't land on Jupiter. It's impossible.

      Trump: I don't DO can't. Impossible is not in my dictionary. Do it.

      1. jgarbo

        In fact, Donnie's dictionary has no words, only pictures.

      2. alain williams Silver badge

        putting a lander on Jupiter

        Just tell him that a Jupiter landing will need a pilot. They have looked around and he would 'make the bestest, most skillful pilot as he is the most intelligent man in the USA. Without him the mission would not succeed.'.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: putting a lander on Jupiter

          Also, would his hair not act as an ablative heat shied thus saving precious development funds which could instead be used to build something long, bricky and not at all Chinesy ...?

        2. Mike Moyle

          Re: putting a lander on Jupiter

          ...and to guarantee that the mission will succeed, we're building him a good, American coal-fired rocket ship!

          <Valerie>"Have fun storming da moon!"</Valerie>

    6. Persona Silver badge

      Unfortunately Mars is a waste of time. Using current rocket technology which pushes you to use "efficient" trajectories you have to wait up to 26 months before the planets are in alignment before you launch. It takes you 9 months to get to Mars, and you have to stay there for 3 months (or 3 plus a multiple of 26 if you want a longer stay). It will then take you another 9 months to get back to Earth, and a wait of 5 months would be needed before the next trip to Mars starts. However by then the chances are that political changes would have occurred and what was once a priority is now just seen as a cost that should be cut. Mars is too far and too slow, the moon however does have potential.

    7. Alan Brown Silver badge

      budgets are fluid

      "e.g. in the case of going massively over budget"

      That depends how realistic the budget was in the first place.

      I've been on - and witnessed - a number of projects where the amount allocated ended up being half (or less) what'd it had been costed out at in the first place but the people concerned forged ahead regardless.

      Come the inevitable rounds of problems, the allocated budget increases, but it ALWAYS ends up costing more than if you'd been allowed to do it properly in the first place, thanks to all the lost time and fudging other groups are forced to do in the meantime.

      Worse, some of those fudges and workarounds get locked in place for decades afterwards even if they're damaging compared to the corrected project - because once something's committed it's bloody hard to undo faulty perceptions.

      Of course, those who slashed the original budgets are the first to slap themselves on the back and blame everyone else for "budget overuns" that they created (and exacerbated). They're seldom if ever held to account for the damage they do.

    8. Carpet Deal 'em

      Personally, I feel the proper order is moon -> deep space with only a research outpost on Mars, but even if you want to waste resources on a real Mars colony, establishing one on the moon still makes sense as a great staging area. The lower gravity and lack of atmosphere means you can build larger, better shielded spacecraft for a healthier, better supplied trip.

      Icon for my feelings on the destination shenanigans.

      1. Brangdon

        Re: moon as staging area

        If you want to go to Mars, the Moon is a distraction. It is a much tougher environment with very different challenges to Mars, so you don't learn much. It costs about the same delta-v to reach. Transporting stuff from Earth to the Moon then from the Moon to Mars costs vastly more then just sending it from Earth to Moon. Using Lunar resources instead of Earth ones would eventually be good, but the break-even point will take a long time to reach. It won't be a good staging area for another 50+ years. Meanwhile we want to start the Mars outpost within 10 years.

  3. Jay Lenovo

    Finally, a travel option worthy of William Shatner's promotion.

    Book your flight and lodging together and save.

  4. TDog

    Dump Fee

    "regenerative life support and toilet facilities ($11,250 per person per day)"

    So assuming a fifty fifty split I could save about 5 1/2 thousand dollars a day by not having a shit. No curries the night before then...

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Dump Fee

      At the present rate of Soyuz flights you will be on the ISS for two or three months before there is a return seat available.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Dump Fee

        They've said that this will be on a US spacecraft (presumably either Space X's Dragon 2, or Boeing's Starliner).

        Previous space tourists were restricted to the Russian section of the station, and travelled via Soyuz.

    2. JeffyPoooh

      Re: Dump Fee

      Mandatory Apollo 10 'Floating Turd' story reference.

    3. Pen-y-gors

      Re: Dump Fee

      You'll be there for at least a month! That's serious constipation. But you could just drink your own wee directly rather than recycling it, and take a large bucket for solid waste.

      1. llaryllama

        Re: Dump Fee

        I should point out that waste disposal is $3,000/kg as well, and at the risk of sounding crude I can't be the only one here who's taken a 3 grand dump now and then.

    4. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: Dump Fee

      As I understand it, toilet use is included in one of the base fees. The dump fee is for additional (industrial) waste.

  5. ThatOne Silver badge

    Total price?

    Well, the accommodations certainly aren't the biggest expenses. I'd like to know how much the trip itself costs, that's probably the point which separates the billionaires from the well-earning people...

    (As the saying goes, if you have to ask you probably can't afford it.)

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Return trip to ISS price

      In increasing order of fictionalness:

      Soyuz: $60M to $80M per seat. The price went up when they became a monopoly and will probably fall again when there is competition.

      Crew dragon: $20M-$25M.

      Starliner: $54M (My guess is this number was chosen to be cheaper than Soyuz so it might change with the cost of a Soyuz seat.)

      Dream Chaser: There are two flavours: crew and cargo. They are quite different. NASA has ordered launches of the cargo version to ISS but cancelled funding for the crew version. There has been talk of Crew Dream Chaser launching from Stratolaunch, Ariane 5, Atlas V and Falcon 9. Falcon 9 is the cheapest: ($50M+Dream Chaser)/7

      BFS: 100,000kg to LEO for around $10M. If we call that 100 people + 900kg each for luxuries like air, water, food and a small car that makes $0.1M per seat. That many people aboard the ISS may well be too much for the life support systems so passengers would have to spend most of their time on BFS (which has a similar pressurised volume).

      Blue Origin: New Sheppard cannot get anything to ISS but New Glenn could. The Blue Moon lander is a bit small but the stretched version could carry passengers. The system would be massive overkill for sending a few people to ISS. Perhaps passengers could stop there for lunch before going to the moon. No information on prices but there may be a discount with Amazon Prime.

      Orion/SLS: $666M. Most of that cost is SLS. You could launch Orion on Falcon Heavy. As FH is not man rated you would need to launch the passengers separately on a Crew Dragon but it would still be far cheaper than SLS. Further savings could be made by not launching Orion at all. (I am being a little unfair. Orion is intended to go to LOPG. SLS could get it there. If launched by Falcon Heavy, another launch would be required to get the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage into orbit to push Orion to LOPG. Like New Glenn/Blue Moon, SLS/Orion is overkill for ISS.)

      1. IT Poser

        An SLS/Orion launch for $666M?

        Well you did say in order of increasing fictionalness. I'd say when pigs fly, but that is the point of SLS.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: An SLS/Orion launch for $666M?

          Oops - major typo: Six seats on Orion, launch cost $2G so it is only $333M.

          1. IT Poser

            Re: An SLS/Orion launch for $666M?

            Orion has four seats. Increasing the crew capacity by 50% won't halve the per seat cost.

            Marginal launch costs for an SLS/Orion stack shouldn't be anywhere near that bad. I wouldn't be surprised if that figure could be as low as $500 million. The cost is in the army of workers suppliers Congress wants to fund. Congress wants this in the $3-4 billion range, preferably on the higher side. If we wanted to include development costs to make an apples to apples comparison with the commercial options we could easily be talking about $2+ billion per seat.

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: An SLS/Orion launch for $666M?

              Orion has four seats in it's 'going to the moon' setup, but it can seat up to six for shorter missions, of which presumably LEO would count.

              (Mind you, there were plans to fit five astronauts into an Apollo capsule if they'd needed to do a rescue from Skylab)

              1. defiler

                Re: An SLS/Orion launch for $666M?

                (Mind you, there were plans to fit five astronauts into an Apollo capsule if they'd needed to do a rescue from Skylab)

                Sit in each others' laps, and if the Space Police see you, look nonchalant.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Total price?

      Pavel Durov could negotiate a discount on that - less the food

      He may even come up with a few new features for Telegram

  6. Chris G Silver badge

    International Space Station

    If Google is telling the truth, the ISS belongs jointly to the US, Canada, Japan, Russia and the members of the ESA.

    Given the above, what if the members excluding the US decide they want a mission to the ISS via Soyuz launches and including Chinese team members.

    It seems NASA has annexed the ISS.

    Or is that just a name?

    As an afterthought; isn't it time, in the interests of morale to have the first presidential visit to the ISS?

    I would chip in a couple of quid towards the cost, more if it involved a protracted stay in space, particularly if it was beyond tweet range.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: International Space Station

      At that price per GB and toilet visit, they'd be the most expensive presidential Tweets ever.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: International Space Station

        Make one of the modules a golf putting area and you have...

        International Space Station "Trump International Hotel and Golf Resort"

    2. Jon 37

      Re: International Space Station

      Each country contributed certain modules and/or cargo flights to the ISS, in exchange for rights to fly their astronauts occasionally and the right to have some of their experiments carried out up there.

      The vast bulk of the station is half Russian and half US, and those nations historically did most of the launches, so those nations get most of the astronaut spots.

      If the US wants to sell some of the US astronaut spots, that's up to the US. So long as the other countries get their fair share, they won't mind the US selling the US-owned spots. There is a history of Russia selling its astronaut spots to space tourists, so this is nothing new.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge

    My sarcasm meter is off the scale, so is my anti-sarcasm meter.

    What the hell, I'd give up a pint to send a leader to space.

    1. Zebo-the-Fat

      Yes, but would you want him to return?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Obviously not, he clearly didn't say he'd give up a pint to bring him back.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          @Dan 55

          Quite right! who said anything about a second pint for bringing them back?


  8. Tromos

    Makes London rents seem almost reasonable.

    See above

  9. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "Private astronauts will want regenerative life support and toilet facilities ($11,250 per person per day), supplies like food, air and exercise gear ($22,500 per person per day)"

    Why is this cost split? Are you supposed to hold it in if you want a cheap trip?

    Or avoid breathing?

    OK, I suppose that not eating is an option. Hence not needing the loo so much.. Ketosis would be the answer then for the cheapskate space tourist. You could then filter and drink your own urine, and get a really cheap trip.

    1. AceRimmer1980


      Sorry sir, you didn't print out your mul-t-pass, so there'll be another charge for that.

      1. hplasm
        Thumb Up

        Re: RyanSpace


    2. Brangdon

      Presumable the visitor can bring their own food. If it becomes a tourism thing, visitors might want better food than the astronauts get. In any case, NASA will want to encourage private companies to innovate on food and then maybe adopt those innovations themselves.

  10. SVV

    $50 per GB for data

    Ths isn't actually that expensive compared to pay as you go per ggabyte prices n the UK - are they using <insert name of your own despised mobile provder here>?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: $50 per GB for data

      Indeed, I guess it's not very far from the actual cost. It's not like the ISS hauls a cable behind it, and I guess the ground stations' time costs a premium.

      (Also, if you go up to space and spend your time watching Netflix you deserve to pay a lot.)

    2. Z80

      Re: $50 per GB for data

      Data roaming in Japan using a Three SIM costs approximately 76 times as much.

    3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: $50 per GB for data

      I was thinking exactly the same thing.

      Also, cargo storage doesn't seem that far removed from what some airlines would charge you for excess baggage.

  11. Jonjonz

    Oh Boy Everest All Over Again

    At least if they get this actually working on a regular basis, we will be treated to idiots of the 1% lining up in the space station for an EVA where a few will no doubt manage to get themselves killed.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Oh Boy Everest All Over Again

      Why, at that price range you should be allowed to open a window when you feel like it.

    2. Simon Harris

      Re: Oh Boy Everest All Over Again

      Rule 1 for tourist EVAs...

      If you can find your way out, you can find your way back - we're not going to come and rescue you.

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    I'll give this trip a miss

    Only reason is that I find it hard to get to sleep at night unless I have the bedroom window open ...

  13. Simon Harris

    "$22,500 a day to breath, eat and exercise, $50 per GB for data, $11,250 to pee and sleep"

    Ryanair are claiming prior art on this pricing policy.

    1. Persona Silver badge

      Re: "$22,500 a day to breath, eat and exercise, $50 per GB for data, $11,250 to pee and sleep"

      Bollocks! Ryanair would never let you have data that cheap.

  14. andy 103

    We chose to go to the moon

    We chose to go to the moon, not because it was easy, but because we wanted to swing our dick.

  15. trevorde Silver badge


    Can't wait for the reviews to appear on AirBnB:

    - owners were rude, inconsiderate and didn't speak English

    - noisy science experiments conducted at all hours of day and night

    - no free WiFi

    - data charged at $50 USD per GB!!

    - no mobile reception

    - room small, cramped with no view

    - welcome pack consisted of a glass of water and a freeze dried biscuit

    - communal bathroom charged at $12k USD per day

    At least the flights couldn't be worse than Ryan Air:

    - baggage allowance minimal

    - had to pay $120k USD for a bag in the hold

    - going to the loo cost me $10k USD

    - crew were rude and grumpy

    - seat was narrow and no leg room

    - flight landed 2000km from Moscow and there were no taxis or trains

    1. Persona Silver badge

      Re: Reviews

      And the owners exploded when I left the door open.



    I note - Much along the lines of others:

    Much gladdened to see the price of Leccy + Phone are cheaper than NPower and BT.

  17. arctic_haze

    "including Mars (of which the Moon is a part)"

    One learns new things every day.

  18. Tzhx

    50$ / GB -- still cheaper than EE

    What a bargain.

    EE charges upto £1 / mb for data/day. :D

  19. batfink Silver badge


    That seems a tad pricey. Can I have the Economy Ticket instead please? I'm sure I don't need all those luxuries.

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