A privately run ISS?

How much does it take to build a simple private ISS? Can it be done by the private enterprises?

From there, they can take tourists into space.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The calculations in the other answer are very naive. They assume that you can magically take a sheet of aluminum, bend it into a tube, seal the ends and have a cheapo space habitat. Far from it. The total cost of the ISS will top out well above $100 billion. The only people who can build anything like it right now are the very people who built the ISS. The only launcher which can transport the parts right now is the Shuttle. You can't even buy that one. You will hardly be able to buy the next generation heavy launchers... so you don't even have a transport vehicle in the US. The Russians can sell you Proton launches and that might be your one and only reliable ride. But all that does is to get a piece of junk into orbit. You won't be there to tighten the screws.

    In general none of the people who built the ISS will be willing to build something similar for you for much less money. So let's say you can get it for $25 billion, a quarter of the cost of the ISS (and that would be very cheap, indeed). At 5% interest, that's $1.25 billion a year to finance that puppy. You also buy a long term launch contract for $1 billion a year to get to your new property on a bi-weekly to monthly basis. So now all you have to do is to make a profit. Let's say you want to be a non-marginal business at 20% margin. Makes for a total annual revenue of $2.25billion*1.2=$2.7 billion. Divided by two passengers every two weeks (or 50 passengers a yeas) that makes for a mere $54 million per ticket.

    Now you have to find two people every other week who can shell out $54 million for a ride with a 0.1-1.5% rate of loss of life.

    Cool. Go for it.

  • 1 decade ago

    100 tons of cargo to orbit (about the weight of the station) = $1 billion

    building the station - another 2 billions or so.

    Even at $10mln/ticket it would take many years for return on the investment.


    actually, I overestimated the cost slightly, and the other poster is entirely clueless as to the matter. See http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/01/10-sci-fi-te...

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