NASA has struck deals with two commercial teams to provide the spacesuits destined for use when astronauts return to the moon by as early as 2025 — and there’s an extra twist that might have sounded alien to the Apollo moonwalkers a half-century ago. This time, NASA won’t own the suits.Continue reading “NASA Will Rent Future Spacesuits From Longtime Supplier and Newcomer”
Axiom Space’s first crew of private astronauts is back on Earth after a 17-day orbital trip that included a week of bonus time on the International Space Station. The mission ended at 1:06 p.m. ET (5:06 p.m. GMT) today when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria was the commander for the homeward trip, accompanied by three investors who each paid Axiom $55 million for their rides: Ohio real-estate and tech entrepreneur Larry Connor, who served as the mission pilot, plus Canada’s Mark Pathy and Israel’s Eytan Stibbe.
“Welcome back to planet Earth,” SpaceX’s mission control operator Sarah Gillis told the crew. “The Axiom-1 mission marks the beginning of a new paradigm for human spaceflight. We hope you enjoyed the extra few days in space.”
Axiom-1 began on April 8 with the Florida launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The trip was originally supposed to last about 10 days, but concerns about weather in the splashdown zone delayed the descent. Because of the way their fares were structured, Axiom’s customers didn’t have to pay extra for the extension.Continue reading “Axiom’s First Astronauts Return From International Space Station”
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This morning, at 11:17 AM EDT (08:17 AM PDT), the first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Designated Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), this mission consists of four commercial astronauts flying aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft that launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was live-streamed via NASA’s official Youtube channel (you can catch the replay here).Continue reading “The Four Private Axiom Astronauts are off to the International Space Station”
The production company that’s playing a key role in a space movie project involving Tom Cruise says it’s working with Axiom Space to add a sports and entertainment facility to the International Space Station by the end of 2024.
The inflatable module, known as SEE-1, would be built by Axiom for Space Entertainment Enterprise and attached to the commercial complex that Axiom is already planning to put on the space station, SEE said in a Jan. 20 news release.
The facility would provide a studio for film, TV and music production as well as a space for performances and sports events. “SEE-1 is an incredible opportunity for humanity to move into a different realm and start an exciting new chapter in space,” said SEE’s co-founders, Dmitry and Elena Lesnevsky.Continue reading “Tom Cruise Movie’s Producers Aim to Add Film Studio to the Space Station in 2024”
Even though Texas-based Axiom Space hasn’t yet sent its first crew of customers to the International Space Station, NASA is giving the company an opportunity to send a second crew, potentially just months later.
NASA says it will begin negotiations with Axiom on a space station mission scheduled sometime between the autumn of 2022 and the late spring of 2023. Under a pricing policy laid out earlier this year, NASA would charge $10 million to support each private astronaut during their stay in orbit, plus extra charges for food and supplies.
It’ll cost tens of millions more for the ride to the space station and back. The three customers who have signed up for Axiom’s first space station mission in February are reportedly paying $55 million each, which includes the fare for a trip in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.Continue reading “NASA Gives Axiom Space Another Opening to Fly Private Astronauts to Space Station”
While it may seem like the International Space Station is just now fully hitting its stride as far as scientific output and the ability for crew rotations from several different spacecraft, the ISS has been operating with astronauts on board for over 21 years. Knowing the modules and entire physical structure cannot endure the long-term effects of the harsh space environment forever, NASA’s Office of the Inspector General has issued a new report outlining the agency’s plans to keep the space station in orbit until 2030, and to replace it with one or more commercial space stations.Continue reading “NASA Plans to Retire the Space Station in 2030 and Replace it with Commercially Owned “Destinations” in Low Earth Orbit”
Astronaut Peggy Whitson already has her name in the history books, but now there’s a new entry to add: first woman named to head up a privately funded space mission.
Whitson was the first woman to command the International Space Station and the oldest woman to fly in space (57, in 2017). She holds the U.S. record for most cumulative time in space (665 days) as well as the world record for most spacewalks by a woman (10).
Her new claim to fame comes courtesy of Texas-based Axiom Space, which announced on May 25 that Whitson will be the commander of the company’s second orbital mission for private astronauts. The mission known as Ax-2 would follow up on Ax-1, due to visit the International Space Station as early as January.Continue reading “Record-Setting Astronaut Peggy Whitson Will Command Private Space Mission”
Axiom Space’s first privately funded trip to the International Space Station will be as notable for who’s not on the crew as for who is.
Sorry, Tom Cruise: Your filmed-in-space movie will have to wait.Continue reading “Axiom Space Reveals the Crew for Its First Space Odyssey in 2022 (Sorry, Tom Cruise)”
NASA’s plan to open up the International Space Station (ISS) to commercial activity is gaining ground. They have a vision for an economy in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) called the Plan for Commercial LEO Development. According to NASA, they intend to foster economic development in LEO and to drive innovation, all for the benefit of the American economy.
Now they’ve selected Axiom Space of Houston to provide a commercial habitation module for the ISS.Continue reading “NASA is Going to Add a Commercial Module to the Space Station”