Cape Canaveral, FL

Saudis in Space – Group Launches from Cape Canaveral.

Matthew C. Woodruff
International Space StationPhoto byPublic Use

Space is getting to be big business.

On Sunday, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched it's second pay-to-fly private flight to the International Space Station. This time the 10-day tourist trip includes two Saudi government sponsored travelers, a sports car racing team owner and a ‘chaperone’ for the female Saudi.

In addition to flights up to the Space Station, SpaceX plans to build guests rooms and other accommodations onto the station eventually making them into a ‘float’ alone outpost. The company is planning two flights per year and also is developing a space station of its own that NASA hopes may one day replace the International Space Station, the orbiting lab that has been in space for 22 years.

Flying private citizens to space is a goal that NASA has had for years. At the beginning of the space shuttle program, it envisioned offering seats to private citizens and started a “Spaceflight Participant” program.

SpaceX tickets previously cost $55 million for each traveler.

NASA charges visitors around $35,000 per person per day with extra luggage charges of roughly $10,000 per pound.

The guests will be allowed access to most of the station as they conduct experiments, photograph Earth and chat with schoolchildren back home.

SpaceX is a private spaceflight company that sends satellites and people to space, including NASA crews to the International Space Station (ISS). Founder Elon Musk is also creating and testing a Starship system for lunar landings and, he hopes, future crewed Mars missions. It is the only commercial spaceflight company capable of sending astronauts to space, although it may soon face competition from Boeing's CST-100 Starliner.

I hope someone thought to bring a deck of cards.

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Matthew is an independent journalist, an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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