Axiom Space to Launch Historic Private Astronaut Mission to the International Space Station on January 18th
Axiom Space has confirmed the launch of its third fully private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. The crew, consisting of NASA astronaut and Axiom employee Michael López-Alegria, Italian Air Force Colonel Walter Villadei, Turkey’s first astronaut Alper Gezeravc, and European Space Agency astronaut Marcus Wandt, is set to take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 at 4:49 PM EST on Tuesday, January 18.
Notable Crew and Mission Details
Michael López-Alegria will embark on his sixth spaceflight and his second journey to the station with Axiom. As per NASA regulations, all private missions to the ISS must be led by a former NASA astronaut. Villadei, who previously flew on Virgin Galactic’s first sub-orbital flight, Galactic 01, is also part of the mission.
The crew will travel in a Crew Dragon spacecraft, the same capsule built by SpaceX for NASA’s transportation to and from the ISS. The Dragon capsule is expected to autonomously dock with the ISS on Friday at 5:15 AM EST. During their 14-day stay, the crew will conduct over 30 scientific experiments and demonstrations.
Axiom’s Future Endeavors
Axiom’s ambitions don’t end with private astronaut missions. The company aims to attach commercial modules to the ISS, which it will own and operate. These modules are planned to detach by the end of the decade to form a free-flying Axiom Space Station. The first section, developed by Thales Alenia Space, is slated for launch in 2026. Axiom’s project is distinctive as it is the only one set to connect with the ISS before it is decommissioned in 2030, despite other private space station projects under development by different organizations.
– Axiom Space is set to launch its third fully private astronaut mission to the International Space Station with a crew comprising international members.
– The mission will utilize a SpaceX Falcon 9 and a Crew Dragon spacecraft, with the crew scheduled to stay on the station for 14 days, conducting over 30 scientific experiments and demonstrations.
– Axiom Space has plans to attach commercial modules to the ISS, eventually forming a free-flying Axiom Space Station, with the first section set to launch in 2026.
Stay tuned for this historic event that signifies the advancement of private space travel and the grand vision of Axiom Space in shaping the future of space exploration.