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The competition heats up: Bigelow Aerospace announces prices for visiting or renting their space station modules.
For countries, companies, or even visiting individuals that wish to utilize SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, Bigelow Aerospace will be able to transport an astronaut to the Alpha Station for only $26.25 million. Using Boeing’s CST-100 capsule and the Atlas V rocket, astronauts can be launched to the Alpha Station for $36.75 million per seat. In stark contrast to the short stays of a week or so aboard the ISS that we have seen wealthy individuals pay as much as $40 million for, astronauts visiting the Bigelow station will enjoy 10 – 60 days in orbit. During this time, visiting astronauts will be granted access to the Alpha Station’s shared research facilities. Examples of available equipment include a centrifuge, glove-box, microscope, furnace, and freezer. Also, potential clients should note that as opposed to the ISS, where astronauts dedicate the lion’s share of their time to supporting station operations and maintenance, astronauts aboard the Alpha Station will be able to focus exclusively on their own experiments and activities, ensuring that both nations and companies can gain full value from their investment in a human spaceflight program. [emphasis in original]
The release also describes price plans whereby the customer can rent part of a module for a period of time, as well as the prices for the naming rights to a module.
I hadn’t heard about it elsewhere and do not remember if this is old news or not. The announcement on the website is undated. Nonetheless, as the release notes, these prices undercut the fees charged by the Russians and provide far more opportunities for the customer.