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  Axiom Space to add Segment to station

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Author Topic:   Axiom Space to add Segment to station
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44115
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-27-2020 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Selects First Commercial Destination Module for International Space Station

NASA has selected Axiom Space of Houston to provide at least one habitable commercial module to be attached to the International Space Station as the agency continues to open the station for commercial use.

"NASA has once again recognized the hard work, talent, and experience of Houstonians as we expand the International Space Station and promote commercial opportunities in space," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. "I'm proud Axiom will continue to build upon Texas' legacy of leading the nation in human space exploration."

This selection is a significant step toward enabling the development of independent commercial destinations that meet NASA's long-terms needs in low-Earth orbit, beyond the life of the space station, and continue to foster the growth of a robust low-Earth orbit economy.

"Today's announcement is an exciting and welcome step forward in the efforts to commercialize low-Earth orbit," said Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. "This partnership between NASA and Axiom Space – a Houston, Texas original – illustrates how critically important the International Space Station is, and will continue to be, for developing new technologies for low-Earth orbit and beyond, and for continuing America's leadership in space. Congratulations to Axiom Space on this exciting award – Houston is known as Space City for a reason, and I look forward to this great Space City company and NASA turning this announcement into reality."

The element will attach to the space station's Node 2 forward port to demonstrate its ability to provide products and services and begin the transition to a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy in which NASA is one of many customers. NASA and Axiom next will begin negotiations on the terms and price of a firm-fixed-price contract with a five-year base performance period and a two-year option.

"Congratulations to Axiom Space! This is not only a win for Texas, Johnson Space Center, and the International Space Station, it is also a great step forward for NASA as we move towards an increased commercial presence in low-Earth orbit," said Rep. Brian Babin of Texas. "I am proud to see this work coming to Space City – Houston, Texas – as the Lone Star State continues to lead in space exploration well into the future."

Developing commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit is one of five elements of NASA's plan to open the International Space Station to new commercial and marketing opportunities. The other elements of the five-point plan include efforts to make station and crew resources available for commercial use through a new commercial use and pricing policy; enable private astronaut missions to the station; seek out and pursue opportunities to stimulate long-term, sustainable demand for these services; and quantify NASA's long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.

"Axiom's work to develop a commercial destination in space is a critical step for NASA to meet its long-term needs for astronaut training, scientific research, and technology demonstrations in low-Earth orbit," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "We are transforming the way NASA works with industry to benefit the global economy and advance space exploration. It is a similar partnership that this year will return the capability of American astronauts to launch to the space station on American rockets from American soil."

NASA selected Axiom from proposals submitted in response to a solicitation through Appendix I of NASA's Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) 2 Broad Agency Announcement, which offered private industry use of the station utilities and a port to attach one or more commercial elements to the orbiting laboratory.

Because commercial destinations are considered a key element of a robust economy in low-Earth orbit, NASA also plans to issue a final opportunity to partner with the agency in the development of a free-flying, independent commercial destination. Through these combined efforts to develop commercial destinations, NASA is set to meet its long-term needs in low-Earth orbit well beyond the life of the station.

The agency will continue to need low-Earth orbit microgravity research and testing to enable future missions to the Moon and Mars, including the arrival of the first woman and next man on the Moon with the Artemis III mission as part of the agency's Artemis lunar exploration plans.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44115
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-27-2020 10:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Axiom Space release
Axiom Space wins NASA approval for construction of commercial space station on ISS

The human dream of universal access to living and working in space has drawn one step closer.

On Monday [Jan. 27, 2020], the National Aeronautics and Space Administration selected Axiom Space as the winner of the NextSTEP-2 Appendix I solicitation, which sought to grant access to the International Space Station's Node 2 Forward port for a commercial space station that could ultimately serve as ISS' replacement.

Co-founded by stalwart space entrepreneur Dr. Kam Ghaffarian and former NASA ISS Program Manager Michael Suffredini, both of whom have in excess of 35 years of human spaceflight experience, Axiom plans to launch a node module, research & manufacturing facility, crew habitat, and large-windowed Earth observatory to form the "Axiom Segment" of the ISS. This new commercial platform will significantly increase the usable and habitable volume of the ISS, provide for novel avenues of research in areas such as isolation studies and Earth observation, and allow a gradual transfer of the innovative work being done on-station to prevent interruptions when the ISS is ultimately retired.

The company targets launch of the first module in the latter half of 2024.

"We appreciate the bold decision on the part of NASA to open up a commercial future in Low Earth Orbit," Suffredini said. "This selection is a recognition of the uniquely qualified nature of the Axiom team and our commercial plan to create and support a thriving, sustainable, and American-led LEO ecosystem.

"Axiom exists to provide the infrastructure in space for a variety of users to conduct research, discover new technologies, test systems for exploration of the Moon and Mars, manufacture superior products for use in orbit and on the ground, and ultimately improve life back on Earth. As we build on the legacy and foundation established by the ISS Program, we look forward to working with NASA and the ecosystem of current and future international partners on this seminal effort."

Central to the selection was the Axiom leadership team's extensive high-level expertise in human spaceflight management, space systems engineering and operations, utilization of microgravity, space finance, marketing, and law.

Ghaffarian founded Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, which rose to become NASA's second-largest engineering services provider, training NASA's astronauts and operating the ISS. These functions are now carried on by KBR, which bought SGT in 2018 and joined the Axiom team as a subcontractor on the winning proposal.

"A commercial platform in Earth orbit is an opportunity to mark a shift in our society similar to that which astronauts undergo when they see the planet from above," Ghaffarian, Axiom's executive chairman, said. "Our goal is to advance the state of humanity and human knowledge. I am glad to see the Axiom team, with its advanced human spaceflight, engineering, and operations expertise, recognized for its potential to do just that and build off of ISS."

Team Axiom also includes Boeing, Thales Alenia Space Italy, Intuitive Machines, and Maxar Technologies.

Axiom was founded in 2016 with the purpose of expanding human civilization into Earth orbit. In addition to building and launching the Axiom Segment, the company will launch crewed flights to the ISS and later the ISS/Axiom complex at a rate of about two to three flights per year. Shortly before ISS is retired, Axiom will launch its large power platform to provide the Axiom Segment power and cooling that ISS previously provided.

When the ISS reaches its decommissioning date, the Axiom Segment will detach and continue as a free-flying, internationally available commercial space station. This station will have been built at a fraction of the cost of ISS, the elimination of whose operating costs will enable NASA to dive headlong into a new era of exploration.

"There is a fantastically steep learning curve to human spaceflight," Suffredini said. "The collective experience at Axiom is quite far along it. Because we know firsthand what works and what doesn't in LEO, we are innovating in terms of design, engineering, and process while maintaining safety and dramatically lowering costs."

About Axiom Space

Axiom Space was founded in 2016 to make life and work in orbit a reality as a means to sustained deep space exploration and improving life on Earth. While building and launching the Axiom Segment to one day form the world's first commercial space station, Axiom will provide access to the ISS today by launching crewed flights at a rate of about two to three flights per year.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44115
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-24-2020 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thales Alenia release
Thales Alenia Space will provide two key pressurized elements for Axiom Commercial Space Station

Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %) announced the signature of an ATP (Authorization To Proceed) with Axiom Space of Houston, Texas to initiate the development of two key pressurized elements dedicated to the world's first commercial space station.

In January, NASA selected Axiom's proposal to attach its space station modules to the International Space Station (ISS) starting from the second half of 2024, ultimately creating a new 'Axiom Segment' which will expand the usable and habitable volume of the ISS. When the ISS reaches its retirement date, the Axiom complex will detach and operate as a free-flying commercial space station. The Axiom Segment will be attached to the ISS Node 2 built by Thales Alenia Space.

Axiom is offering professional and private astronaut flights to the ISS at a rate of up to two per year, with the first set to launch in October 2021, while it develops the new station elements.

Based on its past successful experience building modules for the International Space Station, Thales Alenia Space will be responsible for the design, development, assembly and test of the primary structure and the Micrometeoroid & Debris Protection System for the Axiom Node One (AxN1) and Habitation Module (AxH), the first two Axiom station elements to fly. Axiom will receive these elements at their facility in Houston for integration and outfitting of core systems and certification of flight prior to shipping to the launch facility.

Walter Cugno, Thales Alenia Space Vice President, Science and Exploration commented: "With its unrivaled expertise for pressurized modules, Thales Alenia Space is an essential partner for all human and deep space exploration missions. I am confident this partnership with Axiom will open new horizons by revolutionizing the human presence in low-Earth orbit."

Massimo Comparini, Thales Alenia Space Senior Executive Vice President Observation Exploration & Navigation business line stated: "This mission is an important step toward enabling the development of independent commercial destinations, and fostering the growth of a strong and competitive low-Earth orbit economy. The synergy with the entire space ecosystem, from Governmental institutions and international Agencies, to private companies, positions Thales Alenia Space at the very core of the industry, and together with our partner Axiom we are happy to partake in this new enterprise of building the new sustainable low-Earth Orbit market based on commercial space destinations."

"The legacy of the International Space Station structure is one of safety and reliability despite huge technical complexity," said Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini, formerly NASA's ISS Program Manager from 2005 to 2015. "We are thrilled to combine Axiom's human spaceflight expertise with Thales Alenia Space's experience to build the next stage of human settlement in Low Earth Orbit from a foundation that is tried and tested. The first two modules of the Axiom Commercial Space Station will serve as the wellspring of a thriving commercial future in space."

Thales Alenia Space has supplied a significant part of the pressurized elements of the International Space Station, including state-of-the-art components such as Node 2, Node 3, Columbus (pressurized part) - European Laboratory, Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), the Permanent Logistic Module (PPM) and Cupola, as well as the ATV and Cygnus cargo modules.

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