RENTON, Wash. — When NASA’s Phil McAlister worked out the contracts with SpaceX and Boeing to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, he made sure they could make some money on the side.
The contracts contain a clause that allows the companies to propose putting a private spaceflight participant in one of the extra seats aboard SpaceX’s Dragon craft or Boeing’s Starliner spaceship, said McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA Headquarters.
“Contractually, we put a hook in there,” McAlister said today at the Space Frontier Foundation’s annual NewSpace conference in Renton. “I made sure it was there. It was very important for that capability to be in the contract.”
The clause kicks in once SpaceX and Boeing get their space taxis certified for flight, which could happen as early as next year.