NASA wants former astronauts to lead commercial flights to the International Space Station. Then they have to travel to and from the space station as mission leaders. NASA published a policy proposal for this on Thursday.
According to the policy proposalNASA, not yet final, said it was finalizing a “new requirement that a former NASA astronaut serve as a mission leader on upcoming special astronaut missions.” A retired astronaut can provide “experienced guidance” to special astronauts as they prepare for a flight and carry out a mission, according to the space agency.
This requirement is intended to increase passenger safety and also reduce risks to the operation of the International Space Station. The new policy proposal would also give space tourists more time to prepare for a trip to the International Space Station. In addition, new medical requirements will apply to special astronauts.
NASA makes policy proposals based on “lessons” the organization learned after completing its first private flight to the International Space Station. That commercial flight took place in April. Each space tourist from Axiom Space paid $55 million to travel to the International Space Station and work on their own space exploration. This mission was actually led by a former NASA astronaut, Michael Lopez Alegria. Axiom has previously considered conducting future missions without a professional astronaut on board, Also writes Engadget. The new NASA policy is supposed to prohibit this. Later this year, Axiom Space will organize another commercial Ax-2 mission to the International Space Station. Former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson Driving that trip.