The concept of private citizens visiting the International Space Station seemed as far from science fiction a few decades ago as a police box that could travel across time.four private astronauts are on board the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024. The group will work on a variety of experiments, business ventures, and outreach projects for around two weeks.
In 2016, Michael Suffredini and Kam Ghaffarian founded Axiom Space. Their objective is to organize private space trips, mostly to the International Space Station (ISS), but they are also creating spacesuits for NASA’s next Moon missions. The Axiom Space crew is driven by the amazing vision, “We are on a mission to reveal it [space] to as many humans as possible,” to achieve these objectives.
Using a Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket, four commercial astronauts were sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on January 18. The private expedition was Axiom Space’s third such endeavor; the first two took off in April 2022 and May 2023, respectively. Commander Michael López-Alegría, Pilot Walter Villadei, and operation Specialists Marcus Wandt and Alper Gezeravci made up the team for this operation.
On Saturday, January 20, the crew reached the International Space Station (ISS) when the Harmony and Dragon modules docked on their own. The Expedition 70 crew, which consists of NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA astronaut Furukawa Satoshi, and cosmonauts Konstantin Borisov, Oleg Kononenko, and Nikolai Chub, will greet the Axiom crew when the hatch opens.
Weather permitting, this mission, known as AX-3, is scheduled to leave the International Space Station on Saturday, February 3. After two weeks on board, they will return to Earth and land along the coast of Florida, where they will arrive drenched.
Axiom Space and NASA’s collaboration is achieving fantastic things, enabling an increasing number of individuals to access low Earth orbit. America and Russia engaged in a space race in the 1950s and 60s to see who could launch a person into space and land one on the moon first. The current environment for space exploration and travel has evolved. A vibrant commercial space economy is being driven by partnerships between huge space organizations such as NASA and private companies like Axiom.