ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker says the new private space station going up is the next step of space tourism.

“This is quite interesting for two reasons, you know, we’ve talked a bit about how the International Space Station is getting old, the contract is only through 2024, now NASA has said they are happy to pay their share until 2028, but the Russians haven’t said that,” he told Sky News Australia.

“So, what’s going to happen with the future of the International Space Station, and then you have the added issue of private companies wanting in on this as well.”

Dr Tucker said Blue Origin had partnered with Boeing and Sierra Nevada to build and deploy a space station by the end of the decade, and it is reasonable to think other companies will follow suit.

“This would allow private companies to dictate the terms so it could be for holiday, it could be private astronauts, it could be other countries who don’t participate in the International Space Station having a seat, or contracts to NASA,” he said.

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