Space

Axiom reveals the first private ISS mission crew

Summary

A commercial Crew Dragon flight chartered by the Axiom Space to the International Space Station sometime next year will bring four private space explorers, but not a superstar performer. The team of its first flight to the ISS named Ax-1 and planned […]

A commercial Crew Dragon flight chartered by the Axiom Space to the International Space Station sometime next year will bring four private space explorers, but not a superstar performer. The team of its first flight to the ISS named Ax-1 and planned for launch no later than January 2022, was announced on January 26 by Axiom Space. The mission is the first in the firm’s proposed sequence that aims to introduce commercial modules to ISS as a precursor to the stand-alone space station further on. Michael López-Alegría, an ex-NASA astronaut who currently works for the Axiom Space, will lead the Ax-1 mission. Three clients will join him: Larry Connor, Mark Pathy as well as Eytan Stibbe, who will share eight days with him on the station.

In a declaration, Michael Suffredini, chief executive officer and president of Axiom Space, said, “We were trying to bring together a team for this historic project that had displayed a lifetime dedication to enhancing the lives of people on Earth, and I’m happy to say we accomplished that with this community.” Connor is an American businessman known best as the managing director of the real estate investment company The Connor Group, as well as being a pilot and the race car driver as well. Pathy is the chief executive officer of an investment company, Mavrik, as well as serves as the chairman of a media and entertainment business, the Stingray Group. Stibbe is an ex-pilot in the Israeli Air Force, who now is Vital Capital’s founding partner, which is an “impact investment” fund.

Pathy, as well as Stibbe, will be named flight experts for Ax-1 mission, while Connor will serve as the pilot. Beau Holder, the Axiom spokesman, stated that as a pilot, Connor would undergo additional instruction in spacecraft operations to aid López-Alegría. López-Alegría will be backed up by ex-NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, whereas another commercial astronaut by the name John Shoffner, will practice as a substitute. Axiom did not reveal the price paid by the 3-commercial astronauts to be on Ax-1 flight, and whether there was a price gap between them. The per-person price is valued at about $55 million by industry sources.

The Israeli government revealed the presence of Stibbe in the team in November, which plans to collaborate with him on tasks during the mission. After Ilan Ramon, who was a member of ill-fated STS-107 shuttle launch in the year 2003, he would be the second Israeli to be sent to space. Avi Blasberger, who works at the Israeli Space Agency as the director, stated in comments at Ilan Ramon International Space Conference on January 26: “The government would use its time at the space station to conduct scientific as well as engineering evaluations as well as many educational initiatives.”

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