NASA And Axis Space has signed an order prior to January 2022 for the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station.
“We are pleased to see more people accessing space travel with this first private spaceflight to the space station,” said Kathy Louders, associate executive for human research and operations at NASA headquarters. “One of our original objectives with the Business Group project, again with our Business Low Earth Orbit Development Program, is to have our providers have clients other than NASA to grow the business economy in low Earth orbit.”
Named the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), the spacecraft will be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station. Once the dock is completed, the Axis astronauts are scheduled to spend eight days in the orbit laboratory. NASA and Axiom mission planners will coordinate orbit operations for private astronauts to co-operate with space station crew members and flight controllers.
The team will purchase Axis services from NASA such as supplies, space cargo delivery, storage and other orbital resources for everyday use. NASA will purchase from Axiom the ability to send back scientific models that need to be cold to transfer to Earth.
“The first private team to visit the International Space Station is a diabetic moment for humanity to expand from the planet, and we are pleased to partner with NASA in accomplishing it,” said Axis President and CEO Michael Safredini. “The growing commercial market in low Earth orbit begins with expanding access to serious, extraordinary users, which is the goal of our private astronauts.”
NASA has opened the space station for business operations, including private astronauts, as part of a plan to create a strong and competitive economy in low Earth orbit. The agency’s requirements for achieving that goal – such as research on the effects of the space environment on humans, technological development and flight crew testing – will remain in place after the International Space Station’s retirement. Businesses will meet those needs and provide space and transportation capabilities. Operation Ax-1 is an important step in stimulating the demand for commercial human space travel services, so NASA can be one of many customers in low Earth orbit.
For the Ax-1 mission, Axis nominated Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Mark Patty and Eaton Stebe as prime team members. These private astronauts will be reviewed by NASA and its international partners, which will be standard for any space station crew, and will undergo NASA medical eligibility testing to approve the aircraft. Lopez-Alexria will serve as mission commander, with Becky Whitson and John Schaffner as backers.
Once the proposed team has passed the review and qualification, the four members are NASA, International Partners and SpaceX, Axis has been contracted as a launch pad supplier for transport to the space station. Trainers will know the systems, procedures and space station and emergency readiness for the Crew Dragon spacecraft for private astronauts. Based on the current work plan, training is scheduled to begin this summer.
The growth and development of the low Earth orbit economy continues. In January 2020, NASA Selected Axis In order to provide at least one habitable business block to connect with the International Space Station’s Harmony Point forward port in late 2024. Most recently, NASA announced that it would seek input from the industry providing services at Future Trade Low Earth orbit targets. Such as team training, scientific research and the development of advanced systems for public and private sector astronauts and clients.
For more than 20 years, NASA has supported the continued U.S. human presence in low Earth orbit. The agency’s goal is the low-Earth orbit market, where NASA is one of many customers, and the private sector leads. This strategy will provide the necessary services to the government at low cost, which will enable the agency to focus on Artemis missions and lunar missions. Tuesday It continues to use the low Earth’s orbit as an exercise and as a demonstration of those deep space missions.