SpaceX signs ‘space trip’ deal to send four tourists into space two years later

SpaceX announced Tuesday that it will take four privately paid space travelers into orbit aboard its Crew Dragon capsule. SpaceX will partner with Space Adventures, a company that uses Russian spacecraft to transport private visitors to the International Space Station. The company said crew Dragon’s mission would allow four tourists to “see the Earth in a way that no one has seen since the Gemini program of the 1960s.”

SpaceX signs 'space trip' deal to send four tourists into space two years later

Crew Dragon is a capsule developed by SpaceX for NASA, a spacecraft built to bring astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX plans to deliver the first NASA astronauts between April and June this year.

Space Adventures said the mission will last five days and is expected to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, between late 2021 and mid-2022. Visitors need to train for “several weeks” for the mission.

The mission is “free flight”, which means the spacecraft will not attempt to dock with the space station, but will only fly around the ground. Space Adventures founder Eric Anderson said the mission would attempt to reach two to three times the height of the International Space Station. The Orbiting Altitude of the International Space Station is about 250 miles.

The financial terms of the space trip deal were not disclosed. But SpaceX last year struck a deal with Biglow Aerospace to fly private visitors to the International Space Station for $52 million each.