A new era in low-Earth orbit drew closer on Monday with the news that NASA and the International Space Station Multilateral Crew Operations Panel have approved Axiom Space’s multinational crew of private astronauts for the first-ever private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. NASA has posted the news on their website:
Read more
The Ax-1 mission is now targeted to launch on February 28, 2022, bringing the crew on a 10-day dedicated research mission with eight days spent on-station.
Left to Right: Axiom Space Ax-1 Pilot Larry Connor, Commander Michael López-Alegría, Mission Specialist Mark Pathy, Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe,
Axiom plans its private astronaut missions as ‘precursor’ to the launch of Axiom Station and buildout of the LEO economy, intended to serve latent demand and demonstrate microgravity’s viability as a platform among private individuals and organizations. In November, we revealed a robust microgravity research portfolio the Ax-1 crew intends to undertake on orbit in partnership with a variety of organizations on Earth.
“The goal for the Ax-1 crew is to set a standard for all future private astronaut missions in terms of our preparation and professionalism,” Michael López-Alegría said. “As the commander, I am proud of the work these crew members have put in to be ready to conduct meaningful work on the International Space Station and glad to see it validated by the milestone of formal approval through MCOP, whose standards all astronauts flying to ISS have had to meet since Expedition 1. Ax-1 is focused on a huge amount of science and outreach activities and we look forward now to finalizing that flight program.”