If your dream getaway is somewhere in Earth's orbit, you might not have to wait that long to cross that item off your bucket list.
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Two private companies, Bigelow Aerospace and Axiom Space, say that they will have commercial facilities available by 2020. They announced their intentions at the 2016 International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight. Bigelow, which produces habitat modules that expand once they get where they are going, said that there is a test module on the ISS.
It is all part of a program that wants to expand commercial space activities.
"Hopefully, if we're successful in the private-sector community, NASA's going to save a boatload of money, on multiple locations [in orbit] – not just one – with more volume than they've ever had before," Bigelow founder and chief executive Robert Bigelow said. The company plans to connect its modules together so that there can be four guests and three Bigelow employees.
Private companies will be able to connect to the ISS.
Axiom Space will send its seven-person habitat by 2020.
NASA said that companies will be able to send their own crew to the ISS within the next few years to help research. When private travel will start is still unclear. “We are still working through the next steps so we can’t address specific questions at this time,” a NASA spokesperson wrote in an email to Motherboard.
There have been some private visits before, but they have all but stopped.
NASA still believes that “A vibrant user community will be key to ensuring the economic viability of future space stations,” according to Administrator Charlie Bolden. "There's a lot of interest by other governments looking to get into the space arena," he explained, calling these governments "anchor customers" for the company.
The ISS agreement is another indication of the cooperation between public and private when it comes to space. NASA is working with several space companies to supply the ISS and ferry astronauts that will go up in as little as two years.
For more on the quest for Mars and space living, check out our SpaceX Mission to Mars guide.