NASA and Axiom Space have announced new details about the upcoming AX-1 space mission. This is the first fully private space mission to the International Space Station. The launch is scheduled for January 2022.
During the mission, four astronauts from Axiom Space will be brought to the ISS, NASA writes in a press release . The space flight will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in late January. Axiom CEO Michael Sufferdini said there is a ‘high degree of confidence’ in this launch period. Axiom uses a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to launch the four astronauts to the ISS. Once arrived, Axiom’s astronauts will spend eight days aboard the International Space Station.
Mission planners from Axiom and NASA will coordinate the activities of the astronauts within the ISS, which the crew will conduct in conjunction with the rest of the ISS crew. It would be the first time that a fully private crew is launched to the space station. The flight was already announced in 2020 . At that time it was still expected that the space mission would take place in the second half of 2021.
Axiom vice president and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría will be the crew commander , Axiom announced in January. American investor Larry Connor is to function as a pilot, while Canadian investor Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, former Israeli Air Force pilots, are to work as mission specialists during the mission. The pilots have yet to undergo evaluations and training.
It is not known what the four occupants paid for their place on the space mission. TechCrunch writes that Axiom’s CEO would “not argue” with the tens of millions previously reported. For example, the Washington Post reported in January that the astronauts would have each paid $ 55 million. The same amount was previously mentioned in an article from Space.com .
Axiom and NASA would also each buy services and goods from each other, the space agency reports. It is not known what amounts are involved. TechCrunch writes that NASA pays at least $ 1.69 million to Axiom, including for transporting goods to the ISS.