• The International Space Station is all set to welcome a new crew: private astronauts.
• Four civilians will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket.
• The mission Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1) will be the first private astronaut project.
The International Space Station is all set to welcome a new crew: private astronauts. As Nasa pushes toward the commercialization of the floating laboratory, four civilians will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. With this mission, they will become the first private astronauts to live and work on the Space Station.
The mission Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1) will be the first private astronaut project. It will be launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with four astronauts from three different countries. The mission will be commanded by a former Nasa astronaut.
Four private astronauts
The first in the crew is the Lopez-Alegria, 63. He is Axiom’s vice president of business development and a Spanish-born mission commander. Second in the crew comes Larry Connor, an Ohio-based real estate and technology entrepreneur and aerobatics aviator. Connor will serve as the mission’s pilot. Eytan Stibbe, 64, an investor and former Israeli fighter pilot, and Mark Pathy, 52, a Canadian businessman and philanthropist, complete the Ax-1 crew as mission specialists.
Aim to solve mysteries
When the four astronauts will arrive at the Space Station, they will engage in a wide range of research projects. These projects are aimed at solving the mysteries surrounding chronic pain and sleep disturbances in space travel, as well as Spaceflight-Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS), which manifests itself in changes in visual acuity experienced by many astronauts on long-duration space flights.
“We are not space tourists”
The four astronauts originate from a range of backgrounds and come from three different nations. Despite this, they all have one thing in common: they are affluent, much like the millionaires club that has been traveling in suborbital space with Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. “We are not space tourists,” captain Lopez-Alegria clarified.