Signed, sealed, and delivered: the commercialization of low-Earth orbit is in full swing.
Axiom Space revealed Wednesday that it has finalized a deal with SpaceX for three additional Dragon flights, on which Axiom would fly its proposed private crews on its next three fully commercial missions to the International Space Station. The landmark agreement between the industry leaders in human spaceflight as well as launch and orbital services, respectively, ensures the nascent commercial human spaceflight market’s growth will subsist.
“We are beyond excited to build upon our partnership with Axiom to help make human spaceflight more accessible for more people,” said SpaceX President & COO Gwynne Shotwell. “A new era in human spaceflight is here.”
Developed by SpaceX as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, the Dragon spacecraft has already flown three successful human spaceflight missions to the ISS. Those flights – Demo-2, Crew-1, and Crew-2 – were NASA missions carrying government astronauts from the ISS partner agencies.
In a validation of NASA’s strategy to support commercial development of human spaceflight capability in hopes of fostering a marketplace, Axiom’s planned missions would mark the first private crews to make the same trip.