SpaceX Rockets U.S. Launches to New Heights in 2022

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Powered by 33 flights of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, the United States leads all nations with 48 launch attempts through the first seven months of the year. The total is three short of the number of U.S. launches attempted last year, and far ahead of the 27 launches conducted by second place China through the end of July. The U.S. has conducted more launches than the 43 flights conducted by the rest of the world combined.

A number of notable flights were conducted. SpaceX launched two Crew Dragons to the International Space Station (ISS), including the first fully privately funded mission to the orbiting laboratory. United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched Boeing’s CST-100 Starship crew vehicle on an automated flight test to ISS, a crucial step before astronauts to fly on the spacecraft. Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab conducted its first deep-space mission by sending a spacecraft the size of a microwave to the moon.

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Ax-1 Crew Completes Training for Historic Mission to Space Station

Ax-1 crew members (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON (Axiom Space PR) — After months of training, the Ax-1 Crew is getting ready to head into quarantine. To mark this final phase of preparation, Axiom Space released new photos of the Ax-1 crew. The photos, taken in Houston, shows the crew in their Axiom Space flight suits.  

Completing over 100+ hours of training, exceeding NASA requirements, the Ax-1 crew is set to be the first all-private crew mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The four-person multinational crew is composed of Commander Michael López-Alegría of the USA/Spain, Pilot Larry Connor of the USA, Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe of Israel, and Mission Specialist Mark Pathy of Canada.

To prepare for the 10-day mission, including eight days onboard the ISS, each crew member completed training in safety, health, ISS systems, launch site operations, emergency protocols, and additional training for research and technology demonstration payloads. While on the station, the Ax-1 astronauts will complete over 25 science experiments and technology demonstrations. The Ax-1 mission is a pathfinder mission for Axiom Space’s Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station. 

NASA, Partners Approve Axiom Mission 1 Crew for February Launch to Space Station

Pilot Larry Connor, mission commander Michael López-Alegría, mission specialist Mark Pathy, and mission specialist Eytan Stibbe.

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and its international partners have approved the Axiom Mission 1 crew for the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station through the Multilateral Crew Operations Panel. Axiom Mission 1 astronauts Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe also have cleared medical evaluations for the mission.

Both are important steps with international partners as NASA and Axiom continue to work this mission. Launch is now targeted for Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.

Glavkosmos Offers Spacewalks, Capsule Purchase to Space Billionauts

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Glavkosmos is offering space tourists the option of performing spacewalks from the International Space Station (ISS) and stays of up to 30 days aboard the orbital laboratory. They can even purchase the Soyuz space capsule that took them to and from the station.

The company, which is part of Roscosmos, recently upgraded its website to provide details of what paying customers can do when they book a trip to the station. The information is available in Russian and English.

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Axiom Space Signs Blockbuster Deal with SpaceX Through 2023 to Fly 3 Additional Axiom Private Crew Missions to ISS

  • A landmark agreement between Axiom Space and SpaceX confirms Axiom’s next three planned missions to the International Space Station will fly on SpaceX’s Dragon, in addition to Ax-1.
     
  • The growing partnership between Axiom and SpaceX – the industry leaders in human spaceflight and in orbital services and launch, respectively – solidifies the nascent commercial human spaceflight market.
     
  • The missions, both managed and launched by private companies, are a validation of NASA’s Commercial Crew strategy to enable a commercial marketplace in low-Earth orbit.

HOUSTON (Axiom Space PR) — 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.

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From Treatment for Leukemia to Telescopic Lenses: Experiments Selected for Eytan Stibbe’s Mission to Space Station

Eytan Stibbe (Credit: Ramon Foundation)

TEL AVIV-JAFFA, Israel (Israel Space Agency PR) — Another step in Eytan Stibbe’s journey into space: the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ramon Foundation announced at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation the scientific experiments that the Israeli astronaut will perform in space as part of a Sky mission. The groundbreaking experiments were selected from technological, scientific and medical fields, and chosen on the basis of their research potential and expected economic impact. 

On Dec. 23, 2020, the Israel Space Agency and the Ramon Foundation announced a call for Israeli scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs, who in recent months have submitted their proposals for experiments to be carried out on the International Space Station as part of the Sky mission. 

The experiments were selected by a scientific and technological committee headed by Inbal Kreiss, a senior figure in the Israeli aerospace industry, and the director of innovation in the aerospace missile systems division. The experiment selection process included training seminars and counseling sessions to adapt the experiments to space conditions and the experimental teams were given access to the scientific and technological platforms at the International Space Station. This morning, the 44 trials selected by the professional committee were announced. 

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NASA, Axiom Agree to First Private Astronaut Mission on Space Station

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and Axiom Space have signed an order for the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station to take place no earlier than January 2022.

“We are excited to see more people have access to spaceflight through this first private astronaut mission to the space station,” said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA Headquarters. “One of our original goals with the Commercial Crew Program, and again with our Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development Program, is that our providers have customers other than NASA to grow a commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.”

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NASA, Axiom Space to Host Media Briefing on Private Astronaut Mission

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and Axiom Space have signed a mission order for the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station and will host a teleconference with media at 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, May 10, to discuss more details about the mission.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live online at: 

http://www.nasa.gov/live

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Axiom Space Raises $130 Million in Series B Funding

Axiom space station (Credit: Axiom Space)
  • Capital will accelerate growth of workforce and development of world’s first commercial space station
  • NASA selected Axiom to begin attaching its privately developed space station modules to the International Space Station as early as 2024
  • Axiom recently revealed the first-ever private astronaut ISS crew, launching in January 2022

HOUSTON, TX, February 16, 2021 — Axiom Space, Inc., which is developing the world’s first commercial space station, has raised $130M in Series B funding. The round was led by C5 Capital and includes TQS Advisors, Declaration Partners (the investment firm backed by David M. Rubenstein), Moelis Dynasty Investments, Washington University in St. Louis, The Venture Collective, Aidenlair Capital, Hemisphere Ventures, and Starbridge Venture Capital.

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Private Space Missions Multiplying Like Rabbits

Crew Dragon docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

With the spate of announcements about private space missions over the past year, it’s easy to lose track of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the flights.

As a public service, Parabolic Arc has collected information about all five of the announced missions.

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Orbital Space Tourism is Back, Baby! And on Steroids

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NewSpacers of the world, rejoice! After a 12-year gap, orbital space tourism is back! And it’s bigger and more expensive than ever. The only bad news: Maverick will stay grounded — at least for now.

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Axiom Names Crew for First Private Mission to ISS

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space on Tuesday announced its crew for humankind’s first flight of a group of private individuals to a Low Earth Orbit destination – the first-ever entirely private mission proposed to fly to the International Space Station (ISS).

The proposed historic Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) will consist of: former NASA astronaut and Axiom vice president Michael López-Alegría as commander; American entrepreneur and non-profit activist investor Larry Connor as pilot; Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy; and impact investor and philanthropist Eytan Stibbe of Israel.

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Private Israeli Astronaut Made Fortune Selling Weapons, Security Systems & Other Services to Developing Nations

Michael Lopez-Alegria, Eytand_Stibbe and two unidentified individuals will fly on the AX-1 mission. (Credit: Axiom Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A former fighter pilot paying to become the second Israeli to fly into space late next year made his fortune by supplying military weapons, security systems and other services to the governments of Angola, Nigeria, Haiti, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Eytan Stibbe, 62, will join retired NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and two unidentified individuals on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for a privately-funded mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Stibbe will pay for the cost of the trip and stay at the station.

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