If your travel bug has taken a vaccine in 2020 and you want to experience something beyond an international flight, here is something to consider.
For $71 million, you could have been part of the first all-private International Space Station crew. The first fully private, multi-person space station crew has been introduced: three men who are each paying $US55 million ($71 million) to fly on a SpaceX rocket.
The flight will mark the first tourist flight to the ISS since 2009, when Russian Soyuz rockets carried individual passengers.
An experienced former NASA astronaut will be mission commander and pilot.
Each passenger had to pass medical tests and will get 15 weeks of training.
They will be led by a former NASA astronaut now working for Axiom Space, the Houston company that arranged the trip for next January.
Space tourists have taken individual flights to the ISS aboard Russian rockets, but this will be the first flight carrying multiple private astronauts, on a private rocket.
The first crew will spend eight days at the space station and will take one or two days to get there aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule following lift-off from Cape Canaveral.
Other space companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin plan to take paying customers on up-and-down flights lasting just minutes. These trips — much more affordable with seats going for hundreds of thousands versus millions — could kick off this year.
Axiom’s first customers include Larry Connor, a real estate and tech entrepreneur from Dayton, Ohio, Canadian financier Mark Pathy and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe, a close friend of Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, who was killed in the space shuttle Columbia accident in 2003.