Saber Astronautics Signs with Axiom Space to Develop Formal Australian Astronaut Programs

SYDNEY, Australia, November 23, 2021 (Saber Astronautics PR) — Saber Astronautics has signed a deal with private spaceflight leader Axiom Space, Inc. to create an Australian presence on the International Space Station (ISS). Saber Astronautics will develop the first formal program to enable Australians and Australian industry to, via Axiom, access the Station’s orbiting microgravity laboratory and develop a new generation of space-developed products for human health, materials, electronics, cleantech, and more.

The Saber Astronautics program aims for direct industrial involvement and flights using people selected from the Australian public. Saber’s CEO Dr. Jason Held explains, “What we would like to do is open the benefits for broader industrial use by conventional industry.”

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Axiom Space Reveals Robust Microgravity Research Portfolio for First-ever Private Mission to Visit International 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)

HOUSTON, November 17, 2021 (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space, a leader in human spaceflight and human-rated space infrastructure, announced today the research underpinning its historic Ax-1 mission targeted for launch to the International Space Station in February 2022. On the first fully private mission to ever visit the ISS, the multinational crew of four private astronauts with Axiom’s Michael López-Alegría as commander will pioneer a new phase of microgravity utilization amongst non-government entities – laying the groundwork for a full realization of low-Earth orbit’s possibilities and bringing critical findings back down to Earth.

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Fleet Space Technologies Raises $26.4 Million in Series B Round to Fund IoT Nanosat Development

Internet of Things satellite (Credit: Fleet Space Technologies)
  • Fleet Space Technologies attracts $26.4m (USD) investment valuing company at $126m (USD)
  • Series B Round oversubscribed
  • Investment confirms confidence in Fleet Space advanced satellite technology 
  • Tech drives radical Internet of Things (IoT) efficiencies 
  • Investment is firm commitment to Australia’s rapidly emerging space industry  
  • Investment creates 70 new jobs, including many desirable STEM positions 

ADELAIDE, Australia (Fleet Space Technologies PR) — Fleet Space Technologies announces that it has secured $26.4m (USD) in investment, valuing the company at $126 million (USD). This represents a major step forward for Fleet Space Technologies, which is committed to creating the world’s most advanced low-power satellite network, securing planet-wide coverage for millions of compatible Internet of Things (IoT) devices by using its in-house Nanosatellite technology. This funding will underpin significant expansion in Fleet Space’s manufacturing footprint and will expand the company’s highly skilled workforce. 

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Last Week in the Dmitrys: Roscosmos, Glavkosmos Bosses Talk SpaceX, Tourism and More

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The International Astronautical Congress wrapped up last week in Dubai. Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin and Glavkosmos boss Dmitry Loskutov held forth during the conference on SpaceX, space tourism and other topics.

Roscosmos is the state-owned corporation that runs Russia’s space program. Glavkosmos is Roscosmos’ commercial arm.

Cosmonauts to fly on Crew Dragon: Rogozin said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon now has enough flights under its belt for Russian cosmonauts to fly aboard it. Crew Dragon has flown three crews to the International Space Station (ISS) and a group of amateur astronauts on a three-day orbital flight. Roscosmos and NASA will pursue a barter agreement that will allow U.S. astronauts to fly on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Before Crew Dragon began flights, NASA was paying Roscosmos $90 million per seat to fly its astronauts to ISS.

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SpaceX Projects Higher Commercial Flight Rate; Musk Donation Sends St. Jude Fund-raising Campaign Over the Top

Crew Dragon splashes down with Inspiration4 crew. (Credit: Inspiration4)

A few notes on the Inspiration4 mission:

Big Demand for Flights

SpaceX senior director for human spaceflight Benji Reed said yesterday that the company wants to ramp up to six private commercial human spaceflights per year.

“There’s nothing really that limits our capability to launch. It’s about having rockets and Dragons ready to go and having everything in the manifest align with our other launches,” he said.

SpaceX officials said they received many inquiries about future bookings since the Inspiration4 mission was launched on a three-day Earth orbiting flight on Wednesday.

Axiom Space is sending four people to the International Space Station in January using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission will include three paying passengers and be led by an Axiom executive who is a former NASA astronaut.

Fundraising Campaign Succeeds

SpaceX founder Elon Musk pledge of $50 million to Inspiration4’s fund-raising campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital brought the total raised to $210 million, which is $10 million above the original goal. St. Jude will use the funds to conduct cancer research.

Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who commanded the mission, donated the first $100 million to the campaign. The other $60 million was raised through online donations. There is also an ongoing auction of items flown on the mission that will bring in more money.

IBX Hires Former NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk as Executive VP of Space Operations

Steve Jurczyk

ROCKVILLE, Md. (IBX PR) — IBX, an innovation and investment firm revolutionizing the space and energy sectors, announced today the addition of Steve Jurczyk as Executive Vice President of Space Operations. Jurczyk, who recently served as NASA’s Acting Administrator after a 33-year career at the U.S. space agency, will add his technical and leadership expertise to the IBX team, expanding efforts to explore market opportunities in space, technology, and energy to positively impact the world. 

“We are delighted Steve Jurczyk is joining the IBX team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and his highly valued perspective about the aerospace industry to our strategic growth efforts of building the next-generation commercial space economy,” said Kam Ghaffarian, Founder and CEO of IBX. “Steve’s focus on innovation and leading breakthrough teams at NASA and across the country helped open the door to this new era in space exploration. We are lucky to have him on our IBX team.” 

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Russia Switches to Year-Long Space Station Missions, Doubles Up on Tourist Flights as NASA Gravy Train Ends

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin has said that Russia will extend cosmonaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) from six to 12 months in order to gather data needed for missions to the moon and Mars.

“We are talking about stable operations that will be carried out as part of yearly expeditions. Now this will be placed on a systemic basis with the corresponding system of biomedical researches. Year-long expeditions are what we need,” Rogozin said.

Well, that sounds good. Far sighted, even visionary. That’s what makes it so odd; these are not words normally associated with the Roscosmos boss. Something else seems to be going on here.

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Thales Alenia Space to Provide First Two Pressurized Modules for Axiom Space Station

Modules attached to the International Space Station. (Credit: Axiom Space)
  • 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

ROME (Thales Alenia Space PR) – 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 [US $129.9 million].

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Federal Government Backs Australia’s First Space Incubator Moonshot

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (Moonshot PR) — Moonshot, Australia’s first space-focused incubator, has today received a half a million-dollar [US $374,043] matched grant from the federal government’s Incubator Support Scheme to cultivate new space technology businesses across the country.

Led by a consortium of international space tech leaders, Moonshot’s latest financial boost involves matched contributions from the federal government and investors alike, showcasing local appetite to invest in Australia’s next generation of space entrepreneurs. 

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NASA Seeks Proposals for Next 2 Private Astronaut Missions to Space Station

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is seeking proposals for two new private astronaut missions to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s efforts to open space to more people than ever before. With these opportunities, U.S. commercial companies will continue to play an essential role in establishing a sustained presence in low-Earth orbit (LEO) through the agency’s Commercial LEO Development Program.

The first targeted flight opportunity will occur between fall of 2022 and mid-2023 and the second will occur between mid-2023 and the end of 2023. Proposals are due Friday, July 9, 2021 at 5 p.m. EDT. NASA will host a pre-proposer’s conference to field industry questions related to this announcement on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. To confirm attendance, please email Karen Dailey at karen.j.dailey@nasa.gov.

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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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A Look Back at Space Tourism Version 1.0 as New Gaggle of Millionauts Prepares to Fly

The first space tourist, Dennis Tito, poses with Soyuz TM-32 crew mates Talgat Musabayev, and Yuri Baturin in 2001. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For eight years, they thundered aloft in cramped Russian spacecraft from a former Soviet spaceport in Kazakhstan, battling bureaucracy and gravity to blaze a trail across the heavens and redefine what it meant to be a space traveler. No longer would access to orbit be limited to highly trained astronauts chosen on merit and working on behalf of their nations; instead, space would be open to any sufficiently healthy people with enough money and moxie to qualify.

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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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Ex-NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson to Command Second Axiom Space Mission to ISS

Axiom Space Ax-2 Commander Peggy Whitson and Pilot John Shoffner. (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space on Tuesday revealed the commander and pilot of its second commercial mission proposed to fly to the International Space Station and announced the proposed crew’s intended research while on orbit. Axiom will compete to fly the Ax-2 mission when NASA announces the next private astronaut mission opportunity. If awarded, Ax-2 will further the Houston-based space infrastructure leader’s expansion of the commercial human spaceflight market and cement the research opportunities it can make possible for private industry in low-Earth orbit. 

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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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