The three private astronauts who will fly to the ISS (International Space Station) on Axiom Space’s inaugural voyage next February will conduct over 100 hours of research as the business attempts to develop plans for its space station. The three clients going on the Ax-1 mission, which is set to launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship on February 21, will conduct 25 experiments during their one-week stay on the station, according to Axiom Space.
Larry Connor, who is a real estate developer from the United States, will undertake research for the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic. Heart health and the impacts of the space environment on the brain and spinal tissue will be the focus of this research. Mark Pathy, the CEO of a Canadian investment company, will do research for several organizations in Canada. Research on sleep and chronic pain disruptions encountered by astronauts, investigations on variations in visual acuity, as well as Earth observation for ecology and climate change research are all part of this endeavor.
Eytan Stibbe, who is a former Israeli Air Force pilot as well as a founding partner of an “impact investing” fund, will conduct research for the Israel Space Agency and Ramon Foundation. As part of an Israeli-sponsored mission dubbed “Rakia,” he will conduct a series of experiments in a variety of fields.
Axiom leadership underlined the mission’s scientific focus. “This is the very first commercial expedition to the International Space Station.” “It’s a trailblazer, and it’s extremely research-driven,” Christian Maender, Axiom’s in-space manufacturing, and research director said during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ ASCEND conference on November 17. “During their trip, they’ll be adding an increasing number of challenging projects to the ISS.”
Michael López-Alegra, who is an ex-NASA astronaut and the mission’s commander, will join Axiom’s three customers on the voyage. The four are presently undergoing mission training, which includes time at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
Ax-1 is the first of a series of the private missions planned by Axiom before launching a commercial module in 2024. Maender stated that the business plans to launch its Ax-2 mission in the 3rd quarter of 2022, with Peggy Whitson, a veteran NASA astronaut, as the commander and one of its customers, John Shoffner, as the pilot. The other two individuals flying that mission have yet to be announced, and NASA has not verified the launch date. “We’re undertaking a series of missions to accomplish a handful of goals,” Maender explained. “First and foremost, to build markets, yet also to conduct pathfinder work in the direction of what will eventually become our Axiom station.”