NASA and its international partners approved the crew for Axiom Space’s third private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, launching from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than January 2024.
Axiom Space’s chief astronaut and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría will command the private mission. Italian Air Force Col. Walter Villadei will serve as pilot. The two mission specialists are Alper Gezeravci of Turkey and ESA (European Space Agency) project astronaut Marcus Wandt of Sweden.
Private astronaut missions to the space station help pave the way toward commercial space stations as part of NASA’s efforts to develop a thriving low Earth orbit ecosystem and marketplace and enable more nations, more people, and more opportunities in space than ever before.
“I am proud to see NASA and industry’s continued dedication toward enabling private astronaut missions,” said Angela Hart, manager, NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “These commercial efforts continue to expand opportunity and access to microgravity research and discovery. Each of these missions is a next step in building our shared future in low Earth orbit.”
Axiom Mission 3, or Ax-3, crew will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket inside a Dragon spacecraft and will travel to the space station. Once docked, the private astronauts plan to spend up to 14 days aboard the orbiting laboratory implementing a mission comprised of science, outreach, and commercial activities. The mission will send the first Turkish astronaut to space and will be the first commercial mission for an ESA-sponsored astronaut.
“It is an honor to command another private astronaut mission with Axiom Space and lead a dynamic crew of professional operators representing several nations across one region of the world,” said López-Alegría. “This crew is shifting the paradigm of how governments and space agencies access and reap the benefits of microgravity… I look forward to working with this team and with all those who will support our mission on the ground, on orbit, and around the world.”
NASA and Axiom Space signed an order for the fourth private astronaut mission targeted to launch no earlier than August 2024. The first private astronaut mission to the station was Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), also commanded by López-Alegría and launched in April 2022, with four private astronauts who spent 17 days in orbit working science and outreach engagements. A year later, the second private astronaut mission, Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2), lifted off in May 2023 for a nine-day mission aboard the orbiting laboratory conducting unique scientific and outreach activities.
For nearly 23 years, NASA has supported a continuous U.S. human presence in low Earth orbit aboard the space station. The agency’s goal is to enable a strong, commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit where NASA is one of many customers for private industry. This strategy will provide services the government needs at a lower cost, enabling the agency to focus on its Artemis missions to the Moon in preparation for Mars while continuing to use low Earth orbit as a training and proving ground for those deep space missions.
For more information about NASA’s commercial low Earth orbit economy effort, visit:
Boom Partners with Latecoere for Supersonic Aircraft EWIS Architecture
Boom teams up with Latecoere to redefine EWIS architecture for supersonic aircraft, bringing together expertise for optimal safety and reliability.
Boom, the innovative aerospace company, has announced its collaboration with global aerospace leader Latecoere as part of its expanding network of suppliers. Latecoere’s engineering team in Toulouse, France, will work in conjunction with Boom engineers to define the complete electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) architecture for both Overture and Symphony aircraft.
Latecoere’s expertise in developing and manufacturing certifiable EWIS and advanced aircraft technologies makes them a valuable addition to Boom’s lineup of suppliers for Overture. The EWIS for these aircraft will consist of an extensive 103 kilometers (64 miles) of wiring, encompassing over 45,000 electrical connections. This comprehensive system ensures optimal safety and reliability for Overture and Symphony.
Latecoere brings years of experience in complex aircraft development processes and methods, making them an ideal partner for Boom. The company’s industry-leading harness architecture definition software stack will be leveraged to support Boom’s ambitious goals in sustainable supersonic air travel.
By collaborating with top-tier suppliers like Latecoere, Boom is demonstrating its commitment to assembling a world-class team to make supersonic air travel a reality. Latecoere’s CEO, Greg Huttner, expressed pride in supporting Boom’s vision and continuing to contribute to the development of next-generation flight. This partnership is a significant step forward in the advancement of supersonic aviation technology.
Witness the Launch and Docking of Roscosmos Progress 86: A Vital Supply Mission to the International Space Station
Experience live coverage of NASA’s Roscosmos Progress 86 launch to the International Space Station, providing essential supplies. #NASA #ISS #LiveCoverage
NASA, the renowned space agency, is set to provide live coverage of the highly anticipated launch and docking of the Roscosmos Progress 86 cargo spacecraft. Laden with approximately three tons of crucial supplies, including food, fuel, and other essentials, this unpiloted spacecraft aims to resupply the Expedition 70 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The event, scheduled for Friday, December 1st, will be broadcasted through multiple channels, allowing space enthusiasts to witness this remarkable feat of human ingenuity.
The Progress 86 cargo spacecraft is slated for launch at 4:25 a.m. EST on December 1st (2:25 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. To enable worldwide access, NASA will commence its coverage at 4 a.m. on the NASA+ streaming service, accessible via the web or the NASA app. Additionally, viewers can watch the live coverage on NASA Television, YouTube, and the agency’s official website. NASA has made it convenient for viewers to stream NASA TV through various platforms, including social media, ensuring widespread accessibility.
Journey and Docking:
Following its launch, the Progress spacecraft will embark on a two-day, 34-orbit journey to reach the International Space Station. The spacecraft is set to automatically dock to the Poisk module at 6:14 a.m. on Sunday, December 3rd. NASA will begin coverage of the rendezvous and docking process at 5:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website, allowing viewers to witness this intricate maneuver.
Importance of the Mission:
The Progress 86 cargo spacecraft’s arrival at the International Space Station is of great significance. It will deliver vital supplies to support the Expedition 70 crew during their stay aboard the orbiting laboratory. The ISS serves as a unique platform for scientific research, fostering advancements that would be unattainable on Earth. NASA’s continuous support of a human presence on the ISS for over 23 years has contributed to our understanding of long-duration space travel and the development of future space exploration missions.
The International Space Station acts as a springboard for the future of space exploration. It serves as a catalyst for the development of commercial destinations in space and the growth of a low Earth orbit economy. Furthermore, it paves the way for NASA’s ambitious Artemis missions, which aim to return humans to the Moon and eventually expedite the journey to Mars. The progress made aboard the ISS and the knowledge gained by living and working in space for extended periods will be invaluable for these upcoming endeavors.
To stay updated with the latest news, captivating images, and intriguing features from the space station, NASA encourages space enthusiasts to follow their Instagram, Facebook, and X accounts. Additionally, one can visit NASA’s official website at https://www.nasa.gov/station to learn more about the International Space Station, ongoing research, and the remarkable crew members who call it home.
The live coverage of the launch and docking of the Roscosmos Progress 86 cargo spacecraft by NASA offers a unique opportunity for space enthusiasts to witness the remarkable supply mission to the International Space Station. As humanity continues to push the boundaries of space exploration, the ISS remains a symbol of scientific progress, technological innovation, and human resilience. Let us join NASA in celebrating this event and eagerly anticipate the exciting future endeavors that lie ahead in our quest for knowledge and discovery beyond our planet.
Red Planet Day: Celebrating Mars Exploration and Mariner 4’s Historic Mission
Discover the wonders of Mars on Red Planet Day, commemorating Mariner 4’s historic mission and its captivating close-up images of the Martian surface.
Red Planet Day, celebrated annually on November 28th, holds significance for space enthusiasts and those intrigued by the mysteries of Mars. This day marks the launch of Spacecraft Mariner 4, a groundbreaking mission that achieved the first successful flyby of the red planet. After three previous attempts, Mariner 4 was launched on November 28, 1964, and reached Mars on July 14, 1965. The mission captured 22 remarkable pictures of the Martian surface, providing humanity with its first-ever close-up images from deep space. These images, along with subsequent missions, have played a crucial role in expanding our understanding of the enigmatic red planet.
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