Axiom Space with the help of SpaceX has lined up the first-ever private space tour mission to the ISS.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is among the leading story makers thanks to the Starlink project. This time SpaceX has yet again made headline as Axiom Space revealed the list of the crew of the first all-private tour to the International Space Station. Founded by the former space station program manager of NASA Michael Suffredini, Axiom Space will arrange the training programs and oversee the operation for the Ax-1 crew along with SpaceX for the lined up space tour next year in 2022.
In it’s pioneering project to send private citizens to space, the company has booked 4 seats on board SpaceX rocket at $55 million each.
Axiom Space announced the mission to the International Space Station recently that is going to be the very first trip with an all-private crew. The team of four will be led by the former astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who had logged almost 260 days on four prior missions with NASA.
On Tuesday, 26th January 2021, Axiom revealed the list of its clients for its first-ever privately funded and operated trip to the ISS. The AX-1 flight will be arranged under a special commercial agreement between Axiom Space and NASA. The mission is set to launch as soon as January 2022, based on other scheduled activities at the space station. This mission is also set to create another history as they will be flying with the second oldest person to fly into a space station along with the second Israeli person to fly to outer space.
Watch: Axiom Space announces first private mission to the ISS, a year from now
SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft to Launch the AX-1 into Space
Founded by the renowned American entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX is a leading name in private space researches. In March 2019, SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft completed its first test mission to the International Space Station successfully. In summer 2020, SpaceX sent two NASA astronauts to the ISS that makes SpaceX the first private spaceflight institution to complete a successful crewed spacecraft launch to space.
They are now all set to launch the commercial astronauts to the space station through their Dragon Spacecraft. On 1st February 2021, SpaceX announced that they are targeting the fourth quarter of 2021 for the launch of Inspiration4 from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Training Program for the Astronauts
According to the latest report, the crew of Inspiration4 will receive special training by the SpaceX team on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft. The training program for the team consists of orbital mechanics, spacecraft, zero gravity, operating in microgravity, and other forms of stress testing. They will also be trained for emergency preparedness training, spacecraft and spacesuit ingress and egress exercises, along with partial and full mission simulations.
Glimpse At the Axiom Space Tour Team
Larry Corron, the oldest member of this team is the head of The Connor Group, a luxury apartment investment firm. He has also co-founded two financial technology companies and established The Connor Group Kids & Community Partners, a company that serves disadvantaged youth in communities in areas where The Connor Group operates. At the age of 71, Mr. Corron is the second oldest person to fly into space.
Mark Pathy, is a Canadian Businessman who will be the 11th Canadian to fly into space. He is the CEO and chairman of Marvik, a financing and investment company, and also the chairman of the board of the Stingray Group, a media, music, and technology company based in Montreal.
Michael Lopez-Alegria, the former NASA astronaut will be the first astronaut to return to orbit and International Space Station. With about 260 days of logged hours during his earlier missions, he will be leading the team.
Eytan Stibbe is going to be the second Israeli to launch into space. Eytan is the founder of Vital Capital fund, a company focusing on business and financing ventures mainly in Africa. He is also the co-founder and board member of the Center of African Studies at Ben-Gurion University.
Ax-1 is going to be the first entirely-private crewed mission in the Earth’s orbit. Before this operation, seven private astronauts were launched on eight self-funded trips to the International Space Station between 2001 and 2009. These flights were organized by Space Adventures, a US space tourism company.