NewsNASA wants to let private individuals fly to the...

NASA wants to let private individuals fly to the ISS for the first time in 2022

For the first time, four private individuals are scheduled to travel to the ISS in 2022. NASA is working with the space company Axiom Space.

Washington / Houston – Fly to the International Space Station (ISS) without being an astronaut? What may sound contradicting itself will be a reality in the foreseeable future: The US space agency Nasa has signed an order with the space company Axiom Space in which private individuals are to fly to the ISS. “We are delighted that this first private astronaut mission to the space station has given more people access to space travel,” said Kathy Lueders of the agency.

Four men are to start the mission called “AX-1”, which will take place in January 2022 at the earliest, according to NASA. Axiom has selected Vice President Michael López-Alegría to lead the crew. He previously worked as an astronaut for NASA. US real estate investor Larry Connor, Canadian investor Mark Pathy and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe were also proposed as main crew members.

Nasa wants to bring four private individuals to the ISS

“We wanted to assemble a crew for this historic mission that demonstrated a lifelong dedication to improving people’s lives on earth, and I’m happy to say we did that with this group,” said Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini back in January and announced that this would only be the first of many Axiom crews in space. The men are still being checked by NASA and have to undergo medical aptitude tests. If these are passed, training should begin in summer.

The plan of the mission is to put the men into orbit with a Crew Dragon spaceship * from Elon Musks * company SpaceX *. The launch is to be from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with a Falcon 9 rocket, also from SpaceX. The crew is to stay on the ISS for a total of eight days and bring samples with them on the way back, which have to be kept cold on the trip. Nasa Axiom pays for this service. The company in turn purchases services from NASA for the mission, such as supplies and cargo shipments into space.

Trip to the ISS comes at a high price

Speaking of buying: The four men don’t get into orbit for free, but instead pay around $ 55 million each to take part in the mission, Business Insider reports. The training will take place full-time, according to López-Alegría. The men are instructed in ISS systems, among other things.

You will also learn how the spaceship docks to the ISS – and how to use the toilet and sleep both in the spaceship and on the ISS. You will also be prepared for scientific research. “It’s not just about tourism. There are also many private professionals who care about the betterment of mankind and who would like to conduct research, “said the US news portal Business Insider , quoting ISS manager Dana Weigel.

Axiom wants to build its own space station

“The first private crew to visit the International Space Station is a turning point in human expansion from the planet and we are excited to work with NASA to make this happen,” said Axiom chief Michael Suffredini. According to Business Insider , Axiom plans to fly private astronauts to the ISS twice a year.

However, it competes with other government companies and missions for limited space on the space station. In the long term, Axiom wants to build its own post in orbit called “AxStation”, which is first attached to the ISS and then decoupled.

According to Business Insider , NASA expects to say goodbye to the ISS in 2030 and steer it to the Pacific. Until then, the agency and the US Congress were hoping for a commercial alternative. The AX-1 mission could be a first step towards a commercial economy in near-earth orbit – companies that fly people into space and bring them back to carry out tourism and research and to build more space stations.

Private individuals on the ISS: Nasa dreams of tourism

“The dream is really to give everyone access to space. And this is a pretty exciting starting point, ”Business Insider quotes Dana Weigel. “Who knows what innovations and creative ideas will emerge, now that we can finally share our mission with industry and private individuals who want to visit the station.” In 2019, NASA opened the ISS to commercial activities and private individuals.

Phil McAlister, responsible for commercial space travel at NASA, speaks of a renaissance in human space travel. “I am very optimistic about the tourism market and tourism activity. I think the more people fly, the more things they want to do in space. The more things you want to do, it will attract more people. More people, more doing, ”said McAlister at a press conference on Monday (May 10th, 2021). (ial) * is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.

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