Tencent Technology News, according to foreign media reports, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today that it will open up some areas of the International Space Station for commercial use, including sending tourists to the International Space Station and allowing enterprises to use it. Facilities in the International Space Station, such as advertising or movies in the real space background.
NASA also came up with the idea of allowing private space companies to connect semi-permanently with the International Space Station in a modular fashion.
In the future, companies can send “private astronauts” to the International Space Station for up to 30 days. This task is expected to begin as early as 2020. According to the analysis, research companies that want to experiment with zero-gravity conditions, travel companies that want to provide the ultimate experience, or movie companies that want to film in a space setting may be the end customers of the project.
However, each space travel flight cost may exceed $50 million, with NASA charging a $35,000 fee per night from a private astronaut on the International Space Station.
NASA's new interim directive allows private companies to rent time and space on the International Space Station for the production, marketing or testing of their products.
NASA also allows these companies to use resources on the International Space Station for commercial purposes, even using the time and expertise of NASA astronauts (but not using their astronaut image) for commercial purposes.
If the private sector is willing, they can even send their astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2020, but all of these activities have to pay a high price.
This is a major shift for NASA. For a long time, NASA has been opposed to the commercialization of the International Space Station. Specifically, although Russia has always been more open to advertising and branding on the International Space Station (like the Mir station) and has transported visitors to the International Space Station, NASA has strictly prohibited the use of the International Space Station. Business purpose.
So far, any company wishing to ship products to the International Space Station must show that this task contains some educational content, or that it is built around a technical demonstration that does not allow pure commercial projects to be sent to the International Space Station. NASA has even forbidden astronauts to experiment with what might be used to make money.
But in August last year, NASA director Jim Bridenstine set up a committee to study how to commercialize the space agency because he believes that this can provide NASA with a new source of income, while To popularity.
“Do NASA have the potential to offset some of the costs by selling naming rights to spacecraft or selling naming rights to rockets? “Brindenstin told a group of NASA consultants last August. “I tell you, people are very interested in this. But the question is, is this possible? I don't know the answer to this question, but someone needs to give us some advice. ”
In addition, the NASA leadership has made it clear that it hopes to transfer control of the International Space Station and its orbital space (low Earth orbit and space) to the private sector one day. In this way, NASA can perform more ambitious tasks, such as building a new space station around the moon and sending humans back to the moon's surface.
In 2018, President Trump's budget called for direct funding of the International Space Station by 2025 and the operation of the orbital laboratory for private companies. Due to opposition from legislators, the White House is no longer pursuing the 2025 deadline, but NASA is still seeking to initiate the private space industry to take over low-Earth orbit.
To help achieve this goal, NASA commissioned 12 companies to study ways to build a large-scale, monetizable business model in this space region. Each company elaborates on its own vision of a new private space space that can be attached to the International Space Station or fly freely in low Earth orbit. According to NASA, these platforms can be used as research and even private visitors to “destination” to generate revenue and create new business models.
NASA acknowledges that the barriers to achieving this commercial vision remain high, as transporting people and cargo into space is a fairly expensive task, but the agency is still moving in this direction.
Of course, if people want to use the International Space Station in the future, they will face some strict restrictions. For example, only 175 kilograms of commercial goods are allowed to be sent to the International Space Station each year, and NASA staff can only spend 90 hours a year doing business. At the same time, the mission of private astronauts to the International Space Station was limited to 30 days, and NASA has published a list of commercial activities approved for admission to the International Space Station.
In addition, the use of facilities on the International Space Station is extremely expensive. Each astronaut spends $11.25 million on daily life support systems and space toilets. All necessary occupant supplies on the International Space Station, such as food, air, medical supplies, etc., cost $2,250 per day. Electricity on the International Space Station is also very expensive, with an electricity bill of $42 per kilowatt hour.
The analysis pointed out that after the opening of NASA, some companies may want to do even more, that is, send their space capsules to the International Space Station. Fortunately, NASA has ensured that they will have an available docking port in the future. That is, the agency is providing a docking station on the space station Harmony Node Cabin for commercial modules to use for a limited time. The commercial module that interfaces with this port will be able to use the utilities on the International Space Station, which may also be used by astronauts during their stay in space. NASA said that NASA will soon propose a module docking proposal related to the Harmonic Node Cabin and will make a final decision before the end of the current fiscal year. (Tencent Technology Review / Tom)