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Axiom Space partners with Virgin Galactic for Turkish astronaut's suborbital mission
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Axiom Space partners with Virgin Galactic for Turkish astronaut's suborbital mission
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) May 15, 2024

Axiom Space has joined forces with Virgin Galactic to send Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) backup and Turkish Space Agency (TUA) astronaut Tuva Atasever on a suborbital flight on June 8 for microgravity research.

Atasever, a 31-year-old engineer, is set to become the second Turkish astronaut when he participates in the Galactic 07 flight to advance Turkiye's space efforts. In collaboration with TUBITAK UZAY, the flight will collect more biomedical data for three research studies previously conducted on Ax-3. These studies could impact future human spaceflight missions. Additionally, Axiom Space is sending its own research payload on Galactic 07 to study insulin dose dispensation in microgravity.

"I look forward to continuing Turkiye's human space exploration efforts on the Galactic 07 flight," said Atasever. "With seven different scientific investigations that will be conducted in collaboration with national and international partners, we will make important contributions toward space research in Turkiye. I am honored for this opportunity to play a role in my country's human spaceflight program and inspire younger generations to pursue even more ambitious dreams."

Axiom Space signed a contract with Turkiye to send its first astronaut, Alper Gezeravci, to space during Ax-3, part of a larger effort to establish the country's human spaceflight program. Following Ax-3, the Galactic 07 flight is the next phase of Axiom Space's agreement with Turkiye to support its space initiatives.

"Axiom Space's commitment to enabling access to space through exclusive spaceflight and research opportunities is exemplified by our partnership with Virgin Galactic," said Tejpaul Bhatia, chief revenue officer of Axiom Space. "The upcoming Galactic 07 flight underscores how commercial entities and nations like Turkiye can unite to leverage unique opportunities to explore the benefits of microgravity while building a foundation to cultivate a thriving low-Earth orbit economy."

Atasever will conduct seven experiments as part of the Galactic 07 mission. Three of those will take place in-flight with payloads embedded in his custom-built flight suit. One study will help understand changes in intracranial pressure and its effect on human visual acuity through a headgear with brain activity monitoring sensors. The second will use a dosimeter to measure Atasever's ionizing radiation exposure. Finally, Atasever will test insulin pen effectiveness in microgravity by dispensing doses into a collection container within his flight suit.

Atasever will also participate in four human physiology research investigations carried out by Turkish researchers on the ground. This research will help identify epigenetic and immune system responses, metabolic changes, myeloid-derived suppressor cell behaviors, and extracellular vesicle changes during suborbital spaceflight.

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