Axiom Sets Out To Build First Private Space Station

by Clayton Edwards
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(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Axiom Space is set to take the first step in establishing a new space station. That first step is not a small one. In fact, Axiom’s initial endeavor will make history. They’re launching the first private mission to the International Space Station. While this is a huge undertaking, it is only the beginning of their long journey. Even their seemingly unimaginable goal of establishing a private space station is only a stepping stone to bigger and more exciting things.

At a Glance

  • Axiom Space will send private astronauts to the International Space Station for ten days.
  • If everything goes according to plan, the Axiom astronauts will blast off next week.
  • Axiom is partnering with NASA to bring back important research material.
  • The company plans to build a space station first, then a city.

Axiom to Launch First Private Mission to the International Space Station

Axiom Space is set to launch the first-ever private mission to the International Space Station. The mission, dubbed Ax-1 passed its flight readiness review on March 25th, according to Space.com.

However, the Artemis crew aren’t rushing to get into space. They’ve scheduled the launch for the middle of next week. Axiom Space’s executive chairman Kam Ghaffarian told Fox’s Mornings with Maria, “We are excited to have our first launch next Wednesday [April 6th] out of Port Canaveral.”

Ghaffarian went on to discuss the company’s far-reaching goals. “The company was created to really build a space city long-term in orbit,” he said. However, before they can do that, they have to get build a space station. “In the short term, we’re building the first private commercial space station. As you know, the U.S. government and NASA aren’t going to build another space station and that falls in the private enterprise.” That space station, he says, will be ready for launch in 2024.

The Axiom exec went on to say that even their long-term goal of a city in space is only a stepping stone. “This is our long-term view that humans need to live outside of our planet and become [an] interplanetary species. Really, the first part of that is to be able to live in low-earth orbit.”

Ax-1, he said, was the first step. “The first installment is actually next week, where we’re taking all private astronauts to the International Space Station for a period of ten days. And it’s really the beginning of many beginnings. The first installment in the journey of the next chapter in human space exploration.”

Axiom Partnering with NASA

NASA is benefitting from the first private mission to the International Space Station. Ax-1 astronauts will bring several items back with them after their short space journey, according to Space.com. Dana Weigel, deputy manager of NASA’s ISS Program said, “We’re partnering with Axiom to return two of our freezers that will have critical frozen samples in them. That’s always a precious commodity for us and we tend to get a backlog on orbit. They will also be helping by returning a really large air tank for us.”

You can watch Axiom make history by launching the first private mission to the International Space Station on the company’s website. They’ll be broadcasting pre-launch activities as well as the launch.

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