SpaceX Axiom Space-1

Summary

SpaceX Axiom Space-1
Crew Dragon shortly before docking.jpg
Crew Dragon approaching the forward port of Harmony during Demo-2[a]
Mission typeISS space tourism
Operator
Mission duration~Ten days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCrew Dragon
ManufacturerSpaceX
Start of mission
Launch dateLate 2021 (planned)
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
ContractorSpaceX
End of mission
Landing dateLate 2021 (planned)
Landing siteAtlantic Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Inclination51.6°
Docking with ISS
Time docked~Eight days (planned)
← TBA
TBA →
 

SpaceX Axiom Space-1 (AX-1[1] or Ax1[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 in late 2021 and send four people to the ISS for an approximately eight-day stay:[3][4] Michael López-Alegría[5] a professionally trained astronaut hired by Axiom Space, Eytan Stibbe[6] for Israel, and two additional passengers. It was expected 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. As of January 2021, Stibbe has not officially been announced by Axiom as part of the crew yet.[8]

Background

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 of at least three pressurized modules and 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 in 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 in 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, also scheduled for late 2021.[12] Following this 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]

Crew

Originally, Michael Lopez-Alegria,[5] Tom Cruise and Doug Liman[7] and Eytan Stibbe[6] were planned to be on the flight.[11] 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.[8]

Following the launch of 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";[15] Ars Technica reported that the full crew complement would "probably be unveiled in January".[8]

Prime crew
Position Space traveler
Spacecraft commander United States Michael López-Alegría
Fifth spaceflight
Space tourist TBA
TBA spaceflight
Space tourist TBA
TBA spaceflight
Space tourist TBA
TBA spaceflight

Mission

The mission is expected to launch in late 2021,[3] atop a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 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.[16] 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).[17] Following their time on the ISS, the spacecraft will undock and return to Earth via splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ It is a placeholder image for Crew Dragon missions to the ISS.

References

  1. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Axiom finalizing agreements for private astronaut mission to space station – Spaceflight Now". Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  2. ^ Space, Axiom [@Axiom_Space] (2 August 2020). "Congratulations to Bob, Doug, SpaceX, and NASA" (Tweet) – via Twitter. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b Sheetz, Michael (3 June 2020). "Why the first SpaceX astronaut launch marks a crucial leap for NASA's ambitions". CNBC.COM.
  4. ^ Foust, Jeff (5 March 2020). "Axiom to fly Crew Dragon mission to the space station". SpaceNews.com.
  5. ^ 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 Oct '21 is flight of 3 private individuals and former @NASA_Astronauts Mike Lopez-Algeria" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ a b "Israel's second astronaut to blast off to space in 2021". 16 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Tom Cruise is officially going to space for his next movie". 22 September 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Berger, Eric. "There are an insane amount of cool space things happening in 2021". arstechnica.com. Ars Technica. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  9. ^ Space, Axiom (27 January 2020). "Axiom selected by NASA for access to International Space Station port". Axiomspace.
  10. ^ "Axiom Space - National Astronaut Missions". Axiomspace.
  11. ^ a b Ralph, Eric (9 March 2020). "SpaceX space tourism ambitions made real with Crew Dragon's first private contract". teslarati.com.
  12. ^ TASS staff (19 February 2019). "Roscosmos signs new contract on flight of two space tourists to ISS". TASS, The Russian News Agency.
  13. ^ Space, Axiom (5 March 2020). "Axiom Space plans first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission to International Space Station". Axiomspace.
  14. ^ Chang, Kenneth (5 March 2020). "There Are 2 Seats Left for This Trip to the International Space Station". NYTimes.com.
  15. ^ https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1268258651279708162
  16. ^ @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.
  17. ^ Kelly, Emre (5 March 2020). "Axiom signs contract with SpaceX to fly Crew Dragon on first fully private ISS mission". Florida Today.