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NASA, Axiom sign pact to send 1st Private Astronaut Mission to ISS

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NASA, Axiom Agree to First Private Astronaut Mission on Space StationUS Space Agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has signed an agreement with Axiom Space to send the 1st private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by  January 2022. The mission has been designated as ‘Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1)’.

  • The mission will consist of a crew of 4 astronauts, they will be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida, US.
  • SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Capsule will carry the crew to the ISS.

Key Points

  • The crew will stay in the ISS for a period of 8 days.
  • The 4 crew members are Michael Lopez-Alegria (Spanish-American) – Mission Commander, Larry Connor (US), Mark Pathy (Canada), and Eytan Stibbe (Israel).
  • NASA is paying USD 1.69 million to Axiom to bring scientific samples from the space station back to Earth.
  • The ISS is set to be retired after 2024.

India’s Plans

In 2019, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) Chairman Dr Sivan stated that India is planning to have its own space station.

  • It is proposed to weigh around 20 tonnes and will be placed in an orbit 400 km above earth.
  • The time frame for launch is 5-7 years after the launch of Gaganyaan Mission (India’s 1st Human Space Flight Programme).

Recent Related News:

i.On October 1, 2020, NASA launched the Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft named “SS Kalpana Chawla” after its astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian-born woman to enter space.

About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Administrator – Bill Nelson
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA

About Axiom Space

President, CEO – Michael T. Suffredini
Headquarters – Texas, USA