NASA will require the appointment of former professional astronauts as commanders of private missions on ISS

NASA will require the appointment of former professional astronauts as commanders of private mission

The US space agency NASA will soon introduce a rule that former professional astronauts are to be appointed as commanders of American private missions to the International Space Station, which aims to improve the security of private missions and reduce the pressure on existing ISS resources.

The former professional astronaut will implement a number of stricter requirements for space tourists: new medical standards, increased time for private research projects, changes in return policies, and additional time to adapt space tourists to microgravity.

The measure was the result of "lessons learned" during Axiom Space's private mission to ISS, which cost 55 million dollars to amateur astronauts. The two-week mission to orbit had an impact on the crew and ISS, and Axiom itself. It is worth noting that the company's April mission was led by former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegria, who is now in Axiom as the main astronaut.

There are not many private mission commanders, there are now more than 200 retired NASA astronauts on the agency's website, and it is not clear how many of them will agree to take over these responsibilities. The Agency itself has a staffing deficit: NASA astronauts now have a staff of only 44 and this is a minimum since the 1970s. In January, the agency published a report according to which a personnel issue could be an obstacle to future missions to ISS and the Moon.