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Author Topic:   Axiom Space private SpaceX missions to ISS
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44801
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-05-2020 01:19 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 plans first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission to International Space Station

Today [March 5, 2020] Axiom Space announced it is planning history's first fully private human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station.

Axiom has signed a contract with SpaceX for a Crew Dragon flight which will transport a commander professionally trained by Axiom alongside three private astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The mission, set to launch as soon as the second half of 2021, will allow the crew to live aboard the ISS and experience at least eight days of microgravity and views of Earth that can only be fully appreciated in the large, venerable station.

"This history-making flight will represent a watershed moment in the march toward universal and routine access to space," Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said. "This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space – a first for a commercial entity. Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we're glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort."

This is the first of Axiom's proposed "precursor missions" to the ISS envisioned under its Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA. Discussions with NASA are underway to establish additional enabling agreements for the private astronaut missions to ISS.

Axiom plans to offer professional and private astronaut flights to ISS at a rate of up to two per year to align with flight opportunities as they are made available by NASA, while simultaneously constructing its own privately funded space station.

"Since 2012, SpaceX has been delivering cargo to the International Space Station in partnership with NASA and later this year, we will fly NASA astronauts for the first time," said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell. "Now, thanks to Axiom and their support from NASA, privately crewed missions will have unprecedented access to the space station, furthering the commercialization of space and helping usher in a new era of human exploration."

With its team's vast experience in human spaceflight, Axiom serves as a one-stop shop overseeing all elements of its missions. In addition to contracting with SpaceX for a Crew Dragon vehicle to transport its crew to the ISS, Axiom's turnkey service for the mission – two days in transit and at least eight days aboard the ISS – includes training, mission planning, hardware development, life support, medical support, crew provisions, hardware and safety certifications, on-orbit operations and overall mission management.

NASA recently selected Axiom's proposal to attach its space station modules to the ISS beginning in the second half of 2024, ultimately creating a new 'Axiom Segment' which will expand the station's usable and habitable volume. When the ISS reaches its retirement date, the Axiom complex will detach and operate as a free-flying commercial space station.

By serving the market for immediate access to space while building the future platform for a global user base, Axiom is leading the development and settlement of low Earth orbit now and into the future.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44801
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-13-2020 12:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria to return to orbit on Axiom private mission (interview)

Michael Lopez-Alegria had no plans to fly into space again. But should all go to plan, about a year from now, he will lead the first fully-private mission to the International Space Station (ISS), making history as the first former NASA astronaut to return to the orbital complex.

Axiom has yet to reveal its client(s) for AX-1, but CEO and president Michael Suffredini, NASA's former space station manager, recently announced that Lopez-Alegria will be the mission's commander. Details are still being worked out and agreements still need to be signed, but the plan is for Lopez-Alegria to lead a crew of three on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft for a ten-day flight to the ISS and back.

collectSPACE spoke with Lopez-Alegria about his new spaceflight assignment...

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