Axiom Space Awarded Right to Build Commercial Space Station Module

James Marshall
January 31, 2020

There will be padded walls inside this proposed space home. "This partnership between NASA and Axiom Space - a Houston, Texas original - illustrates how critically important the International Space Station is, and will continue to be, for developing new technologies for low-Earth orbit and beyond, and for continuing America's leadership in space".

But at an eye-watering $35,000 at the very minimum, a trip to the famous space station won't come cheap.

Earlier this week, Axiom Space was selected by NASA to create a commercial module for the International Space Station that will serve as a "research & manufacturing facility, crew habitat, and large-windowed Earth observatory". The first step is letting Axiom Space hook up to the ISS with an initial module.

NASA has been pushing forward with a plan to privatise much of the ageing ISS starting in 2024 (despite concerns from the agency's own inspector general that this could amount to running the station as government-subsidised paydirt for private interests instead of running more "critical on-orbit research" until 2028).

The company-appointed designer Philippe Starck speaks of the hotel's interior design as a "cozy and warm egg".

Axiom has also revealed images of a glass-walled cupola - which the company calls the largest window observatory ever constructed for the space environment.

Axiom, which was founded in 2016 with the objective of expanding human civilisation into Earth's orbit, will launch crewed flights to the Axiom complex at a rate of about two to three flights a year.

"We are transforming the way NASA works with the industry to benefit the global economy and advance space exploration", said Jim Bridenstine, administrator of the space agency, explaining the link with private companies for the operation of the Station. For this work, NASA has tied up with a startup company in the US.

NASA Spaceflight did note, however, that Axiom has already signed a $55 million (£42 million) contract with a hopeful guest and intends to separate the modules into its own "Axiom Station" at the end of the ISS' lifespan.

Axiom thinks that more people will go to the station by adding new sections to the Space Station and increasing the volume.

USA astronaut Christina Koch and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano pose for a photo with a cookie baked on the International Space Station.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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