The development of space tourism goes toa whole new level. While Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are working on the development of suborbital tourist routes, Elon Musk has set his sights on long-distance space travel involving flights first to the ISS and then to the moon. Most recently, SpaceX launched an affiliate program with Space Adventures, a firm that has already sent tourists into space. This program provides the first flight into the orbit of four tourists.
However, Elon Musk does not stand still andannounces the next stage in the development of space tourism. SpaceX and the Axiom Space stratap (Houston) enter into a partnership agreement for organizing tourist flights to the ISS for a 10-day program, two days of which are allocated to the round trip, and eight days will be spent in orbit in the ISS complex. In case of success of the Axiom Space event, this will be the first space tourist trip implemented by a completely private business. The manned ship Crew Dragon and the Falcon 9 launch vehicle will be used in flights. The issue price is $ 55 million per seat.
Thus, the ship Crew Dragon will receive moreone function is the development of space tourism, while the main task of the spacecraft will remain cheaper than delivery of astronauts to the ISS by Russian “Soyuz”. The ISS is about to end its life in 2024, but most likely the station will be extended for another four years. There is also discussion about the possible transfer of the ISS to private companies that are already actively promoting the initiative to operate the station as a premium tourist destination.
Note that in the coming months we will have a startCrew Dragon's first manned flight during the implementation of the Demo-2 project, which is scheduled for May 7, 2020. In the first flight, the ship will be led by astronauts Robert Benken and Douglas Hurley.
SpaceX's plans for flying around the moon werepublished back in February 2017. However, due to a change in the long-haul flight scheme and the replacement of the Crew Dragon pair with the Falcon Heavy rocket with the new reusable Starship and Super Heavy tandem, the travel dates to the Moon are postponed indefinitely.
First Moonlight Journey on Starshipscheduled to be held in 2023. The flight, paid by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, will bring together up to 8 artists. Travel time will be about 7 days, during which, when flying around the moon, the ship will approach the surface of the moon for 201 kilometers.