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NASA says retired astronauts must become sherpas on private flights to the ISS

NASA will soon need a retired astronaut to serve as mission commander on all private flights to the International Space Station, in accordance with a company notice posted today. The policy which includes yet to be finalized is supposed to both increase passenger safety and reduce any strain on existing ISS operations. The former astronaut would provide experienced guidance for the private astronauts during pre-flight preparation through mission execution.” Numerous changes also impact space tourists themselves, including new medical standards for private astronauts, more lead time for private studies, changes to the policy for return cargo and extra time for private astronauts adjust fully to microgravity.

Based on the notice, the brand new changes were due to lessons learned on last Aprils Axiom Space flight, where passengers paid $55 million each to fly on the initial private astronaut mission to the ISS. The hectic, two-week trip where passengers also done their very own research took a toll on both ISS crew and the Axiom crew themselves, in accordance with interviews with astronauts following missions return.

The Ax-1 mission actually had a former NASA astronaut at its helm Michael Lpez-Alegra, who currently may be the Chief Astronaut at Axiom. The business was considering crewing future missions with out a professional astronaut up to speed as that could release space for a supplementary (paying) passenger up to speed, Axiom president Michael Suffredini said at a press conference earlier this season. The brand new policy by NASA is probable an effort to avoid such unsupervised missions.

Capable astronauts arent exactly a dime twelve. Currently, you can find more than 200 living retired NASA astronauts, based on the agencys website though its unclear just how many would be ready to command future missions or meet up with the medical requirements. NASA itself is in the center of an astronaut shortage its current corps of 44 astronauts may be the smallest because the 1970s. A company report from January said too little working NASA astronauts could complicate future missions to the ISS and the moon.

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