Right now, if you want to go to space, for the most part, your only option is to become an astronaut. That's easier said than done, though, which anyone who's seen The Right Stuff will attest to.
But soon, you'll have a simpler way to leave Earth's atmosphere, as long as you're filthy rich. According to a report Friday by the Washington Post, NASA will soon let civilians travel to the International Space Station for a projected cost of $50 million. That's not an all-expenses-included fee, either.
Once there, you'll be able to stay for up to 30 Earth-equivalent nights, but at a rate of $35,000 a night, which would cover food, communication and storage. For those of you too lazy to do the math, a month's stay at the station would cost you another million bucks and change.
Travel to and from the space station would be handled by private companies like Boeing and SpaceX. NASA estimates that it could handle two amateur astronauts per year, based on current estimates.
In addition to opening the space station to tourism, the Washington Post also reports that NASA is looking to "open up the orbiting laboratory to more commercial interests, including filming advertisements in an attempt to help fund its crash plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2024."
ISS tourism may seem like an opportunity that's far in the future, but it's actually just around the corner, it seems, with the first NASA-backed tourist mission potentially happening as early as 2020.