If you’re looking to head to space in the not-so-distant future, NASA’s got your back. The agency is beginning to book commercial space flights, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, which could promote the use of civilians doing so in the coming years. Astronauts would make use of the commercial system to travel to the International Space Station.
People will be transported aboard Boeing’s CST-100 capsule, which on Friday was dubbed “Starliner.”
NASA is in talks with SpaceX to make the mission possible.
Kathryn Lueders, who manages NASA’s commercial crew program, said the agency is “laying the groundwork for the service and the crew rotation mission” in the coming years, according to the Journal. Per the newspaper:
Ms. Lueders and other NASA officials said they have no choice other than to lock up flights early, because both companies have long timelines to prepare rockets and spacecraft to deliver up to four astronauts per flight to the orbiting laboratory.
Notably, should use of commercial flights work, it’d save NASA millions. The Journal reported that the agency’s use of Russian rockets costs about $75 million a seat versus about $20 million less for the proposed system. Before any shuttles take off, however, NASA and the agency it works with must ensure that the spacecrafts are safe.