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NASA Selects Axiom Space for ISS Mission

NASA and Axiom Space’s mission will launch aboard SpaceX’s Dragon. Credit: SpaceX

Ibadan, 7 August 2023. – NASA and Axiom Space have signed a mission order for the fourth private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), marking the Houston-based company as the only full-service mission provider to carry out end-to-end commercial astronaut missions to the orbiting laboratory.

As a result, Axiom Mission 4 (Ax-4) will tentatively launch no earlier than August 2024 from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Furthermore, it could spend up to 14 days docked to the space station. The Ax-4 crew members will train with NASA, international partners, and SpaceX for their flight. Axiom Space has also contracted SpaceX as launch provider for transportation to and from the space station and to familiarize the private astronauts with systems, procedures, and emergency preparedness for the Dragon spacecraft.

“Our Axiom Space team is looking forward to a fourth mission to the ISS,” said Michael Suffredini, CEO and president of Axiom Space. “Each mission allows us to build on the foundation we have set for the world’s first commercial space station, Axiom Station, preparing our teams and orbital platform to succeed in ISS operations in low-Earth orbit (LEO).” The CEO also added, “These missions are instrumental in expanding commercial space activities and access to space for individuals and nations around the world, as well as developing the knowledge and experience needed to normalize living and working in microgravity.”

Recently in March 2023, NASA and Axiom Space signed a mission order for the third private astronaut mission, Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3). The mission will tentatively launch no earlier than January 2024 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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