The International Space Station has been a symbol of human collaboration as it maintains a continuous presence of them for years. In the vein of sci-fi stories, there are different companies which dream of creating their own space station. One of them is Axiom Space. In February, NASA awarded Axiom a $140 million contract for, “…at least one habitable commercial module to be attached to the International Space Station as the agency continues to open the station for commercial use.” They will first attach the station to the ISS before detaching it when the ISS is eventually deorbited. Axios has contracted Thales Alenia Space to build two components on the module. Thales will develop Axiom’s Habitation Module (where people can relax) and a micrometeoroid protection system for Axiom Node One. The current name they are using for the module is the Axiom Orbital Segment.
Axiom has its sights set on more than just adding a module; they’re also hosting guests. Axiom has contracted with SpaceX to offer private spaceflights to the ISS which is a shift from using solely astronauts which we’ve all become accustomed to. This is something Axiom needs to train for in the future since operating their own space station will require them to have constant maintenance and a rotation of staff. It also benefits SpaceX because they need to test their launch vehicles and their docking capabilities with space stations. It was mentioned above that Axiom will detach from the ISS at some unknown future date. This is because Axiom intends to create its very own Independent space station. It will allow people to pay to come aboard and enjoy a stay in space, viewing the Earth for a change. The NBC News article below has a collection of designs of the station which is still under development.
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