As Fast Company reported Tuesday, Boeing and SpaceX both have new contracts with NASA to end U.S. dependence on Russia to transport astronauts to the ISS. While SpaceX also plans to have commercial flights to space, they have not released details. Only Boeing, which released conceptual designs for its next-gen space capsule back in May, has said the commercial flights will be part of NASA missions, meaning space tourists would ride alongside NASA astronauts.
“Part of our proposal into NASA would be flying a Space Adventures spaceflight participant up to the ISS,” Boeing commercial crew program manager John Mulholland told Reuters, adding, “We think it would be important to help spur this industry.”
Space Adventures is a U.S. space tourism company that trains space tourists and then works with Russia to transport them to the ISS. One of Space Adventures’ clients is British singer Sarah Brightman who, in January 2015, is set to become the eighth paying passenger to visit the ISS.
Boeing’s first ISS mission is scheduled for 2017.