NASA astronauts are going to install a new welcome gateway at the International Space Station for American commercial spacecrafts this Friday, Aug. 19. This is referred to as the first "taxi service in space." The project is a result of a $3 billion partnership between NASA, Boeing and SpaceX in order to enable astronaut spaceflights to return back to U.S. soil. NASA aims to provide parking spots where the vehicles from these space agencies can dock. SpaceX is almost already ready with its Crew Dragon vehicle that will set off for space from the International Space Station. According to Gizmodo.com, the act might be “ending Russia’s monopoly on the ticket to orbit.”

Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA will be conducting the six and a half hour long spacewalk so that they can attach the new International Docking Adapter to the ISS. Several power/data cables have already been laid but a few final steps are left. Kathy Leuders from the Commercial Crew Program said, "Right now, the companies are in the midst of this grueling period of getting their vehicles together and getting their structural test articles together. We're getting ready for flight tests. Most importantly, we're getting there as fast as we can safely fly."

Previously, NASA also signed a $424 million contract with Russia to shuttle astronauts to the ISS on board its Soyuz space capsules. Jon Cowart, Mission Manager for the Commercial Crew Program said, “By enabling commercial companies to take over trips to the space station and low-Earth orbit, we are helping pave the way for further exploration of our solar system. Right now, our robots on Mars are doing fantastic things and have covered more than a marathon distance of the Martian surface, but humans could accomplish a lot more because of our ability to react much more quickly.” This might be one of the major development steps in the commercialization of space.

The much awaited spacewalk to install this new docking station will be shown live on NASA TV. In fact, NASA has also released an early animation of how the spacewalk would be conducted.