Axiom Space and SpaceX announced a 3 flight deal to carry private astronauts to the International Space Station on June 2nd. These 3 additional flights will occur through 2023 and will utilize the SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule.
Axiom Space previously announced the Pilot and Commander for the Ax-2 mission and, with this new deal, have confirmed it will be on a Crew Dragon. The first Axiom mission, Ax-1, is slated to launch NET January 2022, with the Ax-2 through 4 missions flying as opportunities arise.
“We are beyond excited to build upon our partnership with Axiom to help make human spaceflight more accessible for more people. A new era in human spaceflight is here.”Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX President & COO
The lead-up to Axiom Station
These missions Axiom has planned are all precursors to prepare them for their own space operations. Axiom’s master plan is to add modules to the ISS through the 2020s. These modules will eventually make up an Axiom Space Station that will eventually detach from the ISS and operate independently.
The animation above ends by showing the completed station still attached to the ISS. Once the systems have been verified, they will detach from the ISS and operate as a standalone station. The first module of this station is expected to launch in 2024, with the entire station being complete by 2028.
The commercial venture between Axiom Space and SpaceX is demonstrating the very goal of the Commercial Crew Program: Support and foster a commercial marketplace for commercial space travel.
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