According to Dana Weigel, NASA’s deputy manager for the space station, “We’re finally able to open our doors to private citizens and allow others to experience the magic of living and working in space”. “The ultimate goal is to make space accessible to all people, and this is a promising beginning in that direction.”
“Who Wants to Be an Astronaut” producers expect the winner to be on board for the second Axiom mission to the space station, which could launch six to seven months after the first. There is currently no agreement in place between the Discovery team and Axiom regarding the second private space tourism flight, and NASA has yet to select Axiom.
Private astronaut missions could be accommodated on NASA’s portion of the space station, according to NASA officials, and other companies are also interested.
Axiom isn’t the only company interested in private astronaut missions, according to Weigel. Demand has exceeded our expectations at this point,” says the station’s manager.
Peggy Whitson is a former NASA astronaut who now works for Axiom, and John Shoffner is a paying passenger who made his fortune as the head of a company that manufactures conduits for fibre optic cables. They were announced by Axiom on Tuesday, however:
As a consultant for Axiom, Dr. Whitson, the NASA astronaut with the record for the most time spent in space (665 days), hopes to return to space and improve her record. Her response was, “Absolutely,” and she nodded. This “carrot” was the bait.”
Discovery’s show will be “a premium documentary,” according to Mr. Peterson, and it won’t be like “Survivor” or other brutal reality television competitions.