Saturday 8 June 2019 2:00 pm

Nasa opens International Space Station to tourists from 2020

Nasa will allow tourists to visit its International Space Station from 2020.

The US space agency announced it would open the station up to tourism and other business ventures.

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It will cost each person $35,000 (£27,500) per night to stay there.

The deputy director of the station, Robyn Gatens, said there would be two private astronaut missions per year.

Each would last a maximum of 30 days, with passengers travelling to the station on US spacecrafts, Nasa said.

“Nasa is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in New York.

Commercial businesses are responsible for who they send to the space station and making sure that medical and training standards are met before the flight.

Nasa has hired Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Boeing to take the private astronauts up to the station.

SpaceX will use its Dragon capsule, while Boeing is working on its Starliner, yet to be officially unveiled.

They could charge private astronauts a similar amount to that which they charge NASA’s astronauts – $60m per flight.

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The announcement comes as part of a move towards full privatisation of the International Space Station after Donald Trump’s budget last year called for it to no longer be funded by the government from 2025.

Nasa also recently announced its plans to return to the moon by 2024 with the first woman to land there.