SpaceX plans to send a small number of tourists into space

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  • SpaceX is collaborating with Space Adventures to send a small number of private citizens into space as early as 2021, Engadget reported Tuesday.
  • The company intends to take up to four tourists into orbit on the Dragon spacecraft for five days.
  • SpaceX also recently launched an online booking tool for sending satellites into space starting at $1 million.
  • Customers can schedule flights for packages on the Falcon 9 starting June 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

SpaceX is teaming up with Space Adventures, an American space tourism company, to send a small number of tourists into space as early as 2021, Engadget reported Tuesday.

There's not many details out at the moment about how the people will be chosen, and The Verge reports Space Adventures isn't revealing pricing details right now. A spokesperson for SpaceX wasn't immediately available for comment.

The agreement comes several weeks after SpaceX also opened an online booking tool for sending satellites into space on the Falcon 9 rocket, with payload prices starting at $1 million.

SpaceX, founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft, with the goal of lowering the cost of space travel and eventually enabling humans to colonize Mars.

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, which can carry up to seven passengers, will bring as many as four tourists into space for up to five days in orbit. The four non-crew members will receive several weeks of training prior to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Engadget reports.

The Dragon spacecraft hasn't completed a flight with humans aboard, but it's scheduled to carry a crew in a mission this spring following the spacecraft's successful trip to the International Space Station last year.

Flight tests for the upcoming tourism trip appear to have fixed problems that resulted in an explosion last April and demonstrated that the passenger capsule can release and land in the Atlantic during launch in case of malfunction.

But space tourism isn't the only frontier SpaceX is pioneering. The Falcon 9 launch service caters to customers who want to send small satellites into space but can't afford a full rocket, which can cost more than $60 million, according to TechCrunch. (Companies can book a payload flight on Falcon 9 by filling out this form.)

Falcon 9 is the world's first orbital-class reusable rocket, according to the SpaceX website. Rocket reusability is a key factor in reducing costs for access to space.

Falcon 9 made its first flight in 2012 to the International Space Station and completed its most recent launch Jan. 29.


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