Extension of Human Presence in Low Earth Orbit
- The World’s First Commercial Space Orbital Infrastructure and new comfortable home for humans in space
- Extending the boundaries of research and science activities in space for a more sustainable life on Earth
- In this occasion, Thales Alenia Space and the Italian Air Force ratify a Memorandum of Collaboration for a variety of developments and tests in microgravity
Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), and Axiom Space of Houston, Texas (USA), have signed the final contract for the development of two key pressurized elements of Axiom Space Station – the world’s first commercial space station. Scheduled for launch in 2024 and 2025 respectively, the two elements will originally be docked to the International Space Station (ISS), marking the birth of the new Axiom Station segment. The value of the contract is 110 Million Euro.
Axiom Station will serve as humanity’s central hub for research, manufacturing and commerce in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), expanding the usable and habitable volume of the ISS, attached to the ISS Node 2 module, built also by Thales Alenia Space. When the ISS is decommissioned, the Axiom modules will detach and operate as a free-flying, next-generation commercial space station, a laboratory and residential infrastructure in space, that will be used for microgravity experiments in-space manufacturing, critical exploration life support testing, and hosting both private and professional institutional astronauts. Axiom Space Station will be the cornerstone of a permanent, prosperous human presence and a thriving network of commercial activity in LEO, enabling new advances both on Earth and further out in space. The first two elements to be launched will accommodate up to 4 people each.
“We have convened an elite collection of expertise at Axiom to build and operate the world’s first commercial space station, and Thales Alenia Space fits right into that mold as a partner,” Axiom President & CEO Michael Suffredini, who previously served as NASA’s International Space Station Program Manager from 2005 to 2015, said. “This agreement confirms the primary structures for the next-generation destination in space will be constructed with an expert touch, serving as the core of the first human-rated spacecraft to ever be assembled in Houston.”