If you didn’t know, NASA used to charge a particular fee for the commercial use of the ISS. And now, the organization has significantly increased the prices of everything. The pricing changes in the services and use of resources were very abrupt and left many companies disturbed and confused about what just happened. This is not just a 10-20% bump, but the prices have more than quadrupled in many cases. NASA announced this new pricing strategy on 25th Feb. NASA did say that the decision they took regarding the pricing was made considering a lot of factors. This includes a discussion with Stakeholders, current market growth and the future of space missions.
NASA’s new prices for the commercial use of the ISS
The subsidy that was previous provided on the prices has been reduced, and the new prices are insanely high. This is when you compare it to older rates. Initially, if someone had to carry 1kg of mass to the ISS, it would cost them $3000, but now it has increased to $20,000. At the same time, bringing down 1 kg from the ISS would cost $6,000 but is $40,000 now. The stay prices for the crew members at the ISS has also increased. Before the changes took place, one hour stay would cost $17,500, but now it is $130,000.
These prices changes have left many companies shocked and worried about how they are going to manage. Companies have already started to evaluate how these pricing changes will affect the cost of the missions they conduct. Some companies have already stopped the discussion with NASA for missions as it is not out of their budget.
Why this sudden price change?
One of the probable reasons for this huge price increase is the amount they received for the LEO commercialization efforts. They requested an amount of $150 million but were provided with a mere $17 million. At the same time, NASA also considered the factor that business in space has been increasing at an exponential rate. The organization has also made sure that the prices only apply to the commercial use of the ISS. That means if any company or organization wants to use the International Space Station for any form of educational services that they will not be charged based on the new rates.
The costs for any type of private astronaut missions were also provided during the time. NASA said that it would cost $22,500 per person per day for crew supplies in the ISS. And for life support, the cost is $11,500 per person per day. Companies that have never been reliant on NASA for their services are not much affected by the news. But those who were are seriously worried about the humongous price increases.
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