By ANGELINE JANE BERNABE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A trip to space for private travel may soon be a reality.
Axiom Space announced on Tuesday that it will be launching private citizens into space next year for spaceflight.
Commanding the first flight will be decorated former NASA astronaut, Michael Lopez-Alegria, who holds two NASA records for spacewalks.
“You’ve got to start somewhere,” Alegria told Good Morning America. “Just like commercial aviation back in the 1920s and ‘30s, only very rich people could fly. Now people get on an airplane to go to birthday parties, So that’s going to happen in commercial human spaceflight.”
For $55 million per ticket, the private crew will travel to the International Space Station, where they’ll stay for 10 days.
Despite the cost, the company already has four people lined up for the groundbreaking launch. One of them is 71-year-old real estate investor and philanthropist Larry Connor.
“Somebody said to me, ‘So you realize you’ll be the second oldest person ever to go into outer space,’” said Connor. “And my response, which they already knew, was I think age is overrated.”
Connor, along with the three other space explorers, will also train for 15 weeks with Axiom Space prior to the launch. And despite the potential risks, Connor is thrilled by this trip of a lifetime.
“[My wife’s] seen me do a lot of really unusual things,” said Connor. “So the look is usually like this, ‘And there he goes again!’ And she’s right, here we go again. But she understands that I will never take unacceptable risk.”
The private crew is expected to launch next January and ABC News will have exclusive access to their training this year, so stay tuned.
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