Axiom Area gears up for second non-public human spaceflight mission to ISS

Axiom Area’s second non-public crewed mission to the Worldwide Area Station is now scheduled to launch in simply ten days, with the four-person crew making ready to conduct greater than twenty scientific experiments whereas in area.

The Ax-2 mission will now launch no sooner than 5:37 PM EST on Could 21 from SpaceX’s Launch Advanced 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart. The crew will journey to the station onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, the place they’ll stay for a roughly 10-day stint. This may mark the second totally non-public crew to go to the ISS; the primary mission, additionally operated by Axiom Area, befell in April 2022.

The crew contains Peggy Whitson, the mission commander and Axiom’s director of human spaceflight; John Shoffner, the pilot; Ali Alqarni, mission specialist; and Rayyanah Barnawi, additionally a mission specialist. Alqarni and Barnawi are each members of Saudi Arabia’s first astronaut class, and would be the first individuals from that nation to go to the ISS. Shoffner, an Axiom investor, is the one paying buyer on the crew.

The foursome will have interaction in a ton of scientific analysis whereas aboard the station. The greater than 20 payloads that may journey with the crew, which span the life sciences, biomedicine, and expertise demonstrations, are sponsored by the ISS Nationwide Laboratory. Experiments embrace inspecting the affect of microgravity on stem cell manufacturing, research on bioengineered human tissue, and a undertaking that may assist advance detection of a remedy for most cancers on Earth. The crew may also bear a battery of exams to higher perceive the affect of spaceflight and microgravity on the physique.

Personal human spaceflight mission is only one a part of Axiom’s plan. The corporate can be amongst a rising crowd of gamers aiming to function a non-public area station. Their plan entails attaching modules to the ISS, and later working these modules as a free-flying station as soon as the ISS is decommissioned in 2030. The primary module is scheduled to launch in 2025.

Axiom additionally introduced final month that it signed an settlement to determine a three way partnership with certainly one of its buyers: Korean pharmaceutical agency Boryung, who contributed $50 million in capital final December. The JV was introduced final month.

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