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The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has announced that private companies and other U.S. governmental offices will be able to use the International Space Station free of charge if they cover their own transportation costs.
NASA is managing the ISS, due to be completed in 2010, on behalf of 15 partner nations, including Japan.
The United States last year authorized a new national space policy that supports manned missions to the moon and Mars, greatly changing its plans for the ISS and opening up about half of the U.S. facilities on the station for use.
The United States owns about half of the usage rights of the Japanese experiment module Kibo, meaning space for the module might be made available.
According to U.S. media, use of the ISS would be free provided transportation can be secured for modules.
Fantastic. If I can just figure out where I left my go-go-gadget Jet Pack or that matchbook that I wrote Richard Branson‘s cell phone number on, I might have a place to stay for free until I leave next year.