“This program will include identifying candidates interested in purchasing private astronaut missions from the ISS, the acquisition of transportation from the ISS, orbiting resources and ground resources,” the company added.
Virgin Galactic’s own SpaceShipTwo is a suborbital space plane that is unable to reach the ISS, and the company has only sent five people into space on two suborbital test flights. The company says it has already received around 600 reservations for suborbital flights at the approximate price of $ 250,000 per seat.
But Virgin Galactic said it will use its existing suborbital aircraft for training flights, noting in the press release that the company’s “existing space experiences could play a role in orbital travel training, allowing passengers to familiarize themselves with the environment in space, like G forces and zero G “.
Virgin Galactic will train candidates for missions to the ISS, adding that these trips could range from private citizens to government-backed scientific and technological research missions.
The company did not mention how it intended to transport the astronauts it trained to the Virgin Galactic space station. It was not immediately available for further comment. The company also did not disclose any financial terms of its agreement with NASA.