Axiom Mission 1


Axiom Mission 1
SpaceX Crew Dragon (cropped).jpg
Artists' impression of a Crew Dragon approaching the forward port of Harmony on the ISS.
Mission typeSpace tourism
Mission duration10 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCrew Dragon Resilience
Spacecraft typeCrew Dragon
Launch mass12,519 kg (27,600 lb)
Landing mass9,616 kg (21,200 lb)
Crew size4
Start of mission
Launch date21 February 2022 (planned) [1]
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
End of mission
Landing date3 March 2022 (planned)
Landing siteAtlantic Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Docking with ISS
Docking portHarmony forward or zenith
Time docked8 days (planned)

Axiom Mission 1 (or Ax-1)[2] is a planned SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station (ISS), operated by SpaceX on behalf of Axiom Space. The flight will launch on 21 February 2022 and send four people to the ISS for an eight-day stay:[2][3] Michael López-Alegría,[4] a professionally trained astronaut hired by Axiom Space, Eytan Stibbe[5] from Israel,[6] Larry Connor from the United States[6] and Mark Pathy from Canada.[6]

It had been anticipated that Tom Cruise and Doug Liman would be passengers for a movie project,[7] but it was later announced they will fly on a subsequent flight.[8]


Axiom Space was founded in 2016 with the goal of creating the world's first commercial space station. In early 2020, NASA announced that Axiom had been granted access to the forward port of the ISS' Harmony module, to which Axiom plans to dock the Axiom Orbital Segment; a complex that could grow to three pressurized modules after 2024 with a large observation window – similar to the Cupola – that will be able to facilitate the company's activities in low Earth orbit.[9] Prior to the first module's launch as early as 2024, Axiom planned to organize and fly crewed missions to the ISS, consisting of either paying space tourists or astronauts from public agencies or private organizations.[10] In March 2020, Axiom announced they would charter a flight to the ISS with SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft as early as late 2021.[11] This mission will be the first wholly commercially-operated crewed mission to the ISS, and one of the first dedicated orbital space tourism missions, alongside Roscosmos' Soyuz MS-20 mission, slated for late 2021.[12] Following their first flight, Axiom plans to offer crewed flights to the ISS as often as twice per year, "[aligning] with the flight opportunities as they are made available by NASA".[13]


Originally, Michael López-Alegría,[4] Tom Cruise and Doug Liman[7][unreliable source?] and Eytan Stibbe[5] were planned to be on the flight.[11][failed verification] Each of the seats reserved for tourists was announced to cost US$55 million.[14] In early 2021, it was announced that the Cruise/Liman part of the crew was being deferred by "a year or two" for as-yet unrevealed reasons.[15]

Following the launch of Crew Dragon Demo-2, the first crewed test flight of Dragon 2, Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said that they planned to announce the names of the crew in "a month or so";[16] Ars Technica reported that the full crew complement would "probably be unveiled in January 2021".[15] On 26 January 2021, Axiom revealed the full crew of the mission, consisting of Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe.[17][18][19][20] They also announced Peggy Whitson as the backup commander for the mission and John Shoffner as backup pilot.[21][22] Michael Lopez-Alegria is a former NASA astronaut and Axiom Space VP.[23] John Shoffner is an airshow pilot and entrepreneur, and not an Axiom employee nor a government trained astronaut.[18] Peggy Whitson is a former NASA astronaut and Axiom consultant.[23]

Prime crew

Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Michael López-Alegría
Fifth spaceflight
Pilot United States Larry Connor
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Canada Mark Pathy
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Israel Eytan Stibbe
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Peggy Whitson
Pilot United States John Shoffner


The mission is expected to launch on 21 February 2022,[1][24] atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 launch vehicle from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A), a NASA-owned launch pad leased to SpaceX for Falcon 9 launches. According to mission commander Michael López-Alegría, the mission will be flown aboard Crew Dragon Resilience.[25] From there the spacecraft will spend two days in transit to the station and dock with Harmony, where they will then spend eight days aboard the International Space Station (ISS).[26] Following their time on the ISS, the spacecraft will undock and return to Earth via a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Israeli segment of the mission is called Rakia which was the title of the book published with the fragments of the diary of Ilan Ramon, which survived the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.[27]

See also


  1. ^ a b @KathyLueders (24 September 2021). "Great news! We are targeting February 21 for the launch of the Axiom 1 mission to the @Space_Station – the first private astronaut mission to the microgravity laboratory with @Axiom_Space. Our work continues to open space to more people than ever" (Tweet). Retrieved 24 September 2021 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ a b "NASA, Axiom Agree to First Private Astronaut Mission on Space Station". NASA. 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "NASA, Axiom to talk private mission to International Space Station". 10 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  4. ^ a b Irene Klotz [@Free_Space] (18 September 2020). "Space Hero mission is about 4th on @Axiom_Space manifest, Mike Suffredini tells @AviationWeek. First up in October '21 is flight of 3 private individuals and former @NASA_Astronauts Mike Lopez-Algeria" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ a b "Israel's second astronaut to blast off to space in 2021". 16 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Robert Z. Pearlman (26 January 2021). "Axiom Space Names First Private Crew to Visit Space Station". Scientific American. Scientific American.
  7. ^ a b "Tom Cruise is officially going to space for his next movie". 22 September 2020.
  8. ^ Sheetz, Michael (26 January 2021). "Axiom Space unveils two investors will fly on the first fully-private SpaceX crew mission to the ISS". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2 February 2021. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Axiom selected by NASA for access to International Space Station port". Axiom Space. 27 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Axiom Space - National Astronaut Missions". Axiom Space.
  11. ^ a b Ralph, Eric (9 March 2020). "SpaceX space tourism ambitions made real with Crew Dragon's first private contract". Teslarati.
  12. ^ "Roscosmos signs new contract on flight of two space tourists to ISS". TASS. 19 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Axiom Space plans first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission to International Space Station". Axiom Space. 5 March 2020.
  14. ^ Chang, Kenneth (5 March 2020). "There Are 2 Seats Left for This Trip to the International Space Station". The New York Times.
  15. ^ a b Berger, Eric. "There are an insane amount of cool space things happening in 2021". Ars Technica. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  16. ^ Sheetz, Michael [@thesheetztweetz] (3 June 2020). "Axiom Space CEO Mike Suffredini said his company's private trip to the ISS with SpaceX is scheduled for October 2021, so Demo-2 helped "our customers know that it's going to be real". Axiom plans to announce the 3 passengers in a month or so." (Tweet). Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Davenport, Christian (26 January 2021). "Meet the people paying US$55 million each to fly to the space station". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Axiom Space names first private crew to launch to space station". collectSPACE. 26 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  19. ^ Dunn, Marcia (26 January 2021). "1st private space crew paying US$55 million each to fly to station". AP News.
  20. ^ Axiom Space [@Axiom_Space] (26 January 2021). "The first private ISS crew in the history of humankind has been assembled. Commander Michael López-Alegría, Mission Pilot Larry Connor, Mission Specialist Mark Pathy, Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe, Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1): The start of a new era" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Axiom Space [@Axiom_Space] (26 January 2021). "Ax-1 backup commander @AstroPeggy" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ Griffin, Andrew (26 January 2021). "Axiom Space revela la primera tripulación comercial que viajará a la Estación Espacial Internacional". The Independent. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  23. ^ a b "What would you ask an astronaut, given the chance?". Axiom Space. 8 October 2020.
  24. ^ Berger, Eric (22 September 2021). "Boeing still studying Starliner valve issues, with no launch date in sight". Ars Technica. Retrieved 22 September 2021. Axiom's private mission to the space station on a Crew Dragon has been delayed until late February
  25. ^ @CommanderMLA (15 November 2020). "God willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be leading the Ax-1 crew on the first purely commercial orbital mission in history a little over a year from now - on this very SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. It's gonna be a #Blast!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  26. ^ Kelly, Emre (5 March 2020). "Axiom signs contract with SpaceX to fly Crew Dragon on first fully private ISS mission". Florida Today.
  27. ^ New Details Emerge About Israeli Astronaut's Upcoming Space Mission