24/7 Space News
ROCKET SCIENCE
Axiom launches third mission to ISS, carrying European space hopes
ADVERTISEMENT
Axiom launches third mission to ISS, carrying European space hopes
By Chandan Khanna with Issam Ahmed in Washington
Kennedy Space Center, United States (AFP) Jan 18, 2024

An all-European crew including Turkey's first astronaut launched for the International Space Station on Thursday with Axiom Space, as countries increasingly look to the private sector to fulfill their ambitions in the cosmos.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon fixed to the top of a Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:49 pm local time (2149 GMT), and should reach its destination early Saturday.

Dubbed Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3), it is the company's third launch to the space laboratory and the first where all three of the paid seats were bought by national agencies, rather than wealthy individuals.

"I'm really excited as it allows us to do more space activities, it allows us to serve ultimately more member states of the European Space Agency," Daniel Neuenschwander, the European Space Agency's director of human and robotic exploration said Thursday.

Turkish pilot and air force colonel Alper Gezeravci is joined by Walter Villadei, an Italian air force colonel who has previously flown to the edge of space on a Virgin Galactic space plane, and by Marcus Wandt from Sweden, who is also representing ESA.

They are led by Axiom's Chief Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, a Spanish and US citizen and former NASA astronaut.

The exact costs haven't been disclosed, but in 2018 when the company first announced the program, which involves chartering SpaceX hardware and paying NASA for services, it set a price tag of $55 million per seat.

More recently, Hungary was reported by spacenews.com to be planning a $100 million deal with Axiom for a future mission involving one astronaut.

- 'Stronger' Turkey -

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has displayed a keen interest in the mission, presenting Gezeravci to the Turkish public in the run-up to his reelection last year.

"For a country like Turkey, it's important, it's opening a curtain that has always been blocking the dreams of our children," Gezeravci said of his mission.

Sweden's Marcus Wandt, meanwhile, applied for the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut class of 2022 but was made a reserve. The Axiom-3 mission will therefore allow Sweden to put its second national in space.

Britain, which is striving to build a post-Brexit space strategy, has also signed an agreement for a future mission carrying UK astronauts.

The Axiom-3 team will join seven crew members currently aboard the ISS -- from Japan, Denmark, the United States and Russia -- and carry out 30 experiments, learning more about the impact of microgravity on the human body, advancing industrial processes and more.

Axiom Space was founded in 2016 by Michael Suffredini, a former ISS program manager for NASA, and entrepreneur Kam Ghaffarian.

In addition to organizing private missions to the orbital outpost, the company is developing spacesuits for future NASA missions to the Moon, and building a commercial space station that it intends to initially attach to the ISS, then separate and orbit independently sometime before the ISS is retired.

Related Links
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
ROCKET SCIENCE
European crew poised for private mission to International Space Station
Kennedy Space Center, United States (AFP) Jan 17, 2024
An all-European crew including Turkey's first astronaut are poised to blast off to the International Space Station in a mission with Axiom Space, as countries hungry for a taste of space turn increasingly to the private sector. The launch, Axiom's third, is scheduled to see the four-member crew lift off in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule fixed to the top of a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:49 pm local time (2111 GMT) on Thursday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "It marks a new era of opportunity for ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ROCKET SCIENCE
Sierra Space unveils full-scale prototype of expandable space station structure

European crew arrives at ISS on private mission

Salad in space? New study says it's not a healthy choice

Ax-3 Crew Joins Expedition 70 in Space Station for Dual Operations and Research

ROCKET SCIENCE
CAS Space achieves new milestone with Kinetica 1 Y3 launch deploying 5 satellites

China's LandSpace achieves new feat with Zhuque-3's Vertical Recovery Test

Axiom launches third mission to ISS, carrying European space hopes

Equatorial Launch Australia unveils advanced horizontal integration facility

ROCKET SCIENCE
Buried water ice at the Martian equator

Sols 4076-4077: Driving Into Springtime

A Fractured Filled Plan: Sols 4073-4075

Ingenious Flying Robot Phones Home From Mars

ROCKET SCIENCE
Tianzhou 6 burns up safely reentering Earth

Yan Hongsen's future dreams as 'Rocket Boy'

China's Tianzhou 7 docks with Tiangong Space Station

China Prepares to Launch Tianzhou 7 Cargo Ship to Tiangong Space Station

ROCKET SCIENCE
Eutelsat OneWeb and Paratus South Africa join forces to enhance satellite connectivity in South Africa

Booz Allen Ventures Invests in Albedo's groundbreaking VLEO satellite technology

AST SpaceMobile Launches $100 Million Stock Offering Amid Strategic Tech Investments

Small solar sails could be the next 'giant leap' for interplanetary space exploration

ROCKET SCIENCE
Renesas Electronics plays role in Japan's lunar landing mission

Redwire joins forces with Blue Origin on Blue Ring Space Mobility Platform

NASA's Transition to Commercial Space Networks: A Leap in Wideband Communication

LeoLabs partners with NOAA's OSC to develop advanced space traffic coordination system

ROCKET SCIENCE
Shallow soda lakes show promise as cradles of life on Earth

Key moment in the evolution of life on Earth captured in fossils

ASU talk will examine ethical questions surrounding life in space

Study uncovers potential origins of life in ancient hot springs

ROCKET SCIENCE
New images reveal what Neptune and Uranus really look like

Researchers reveal true colors of Neptune, Uranus

The PI's Perspective: The Long Game

Webb rings in the holidays with the ringed planet Uranus

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.