Space

NASA Selects Axiom for First Commercial Module for the International Space Station

NASA Selects Axiom for First Commercial Module for the International Space Station

As NASA continues working towards opening up the International Space Station (ISS) for commercial use, the agency has now decided who will provide the station's first commercial destination module.

Houston-based Axiom Space won NASA's NextSTEP-2 Appendix solicitation, which grants the company access to the ISS' Node 2 Forward port for the module.

The news was shared online by NASA and Axiom Space on Monday.

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A significant step towards Space commercialization

This announcement is a big step towards developing independent commercial destinations that work with NASA's long-term needs for low-Earth orbit exploration.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said "Today’s announcement is an exciting and welcome step forward in the efforts to commercialize low-Earth orbit."

Sen. Cruz continued "This partnership between NASA and Axiom Space – a Houston, Texas original – illustrates how critically important the International Space Station is, and will continue to be, for developing new technologies for low-Earth orbit and beyond, and for continuing America’s leadership in space."

The next steps are for NASA and Axiom Space to negotiate the terms and the cost of a firm-fixed-price contract.

Axiom, together with @NASA and our partners, will build on the foundation of ISS to create a commercial future in LEO.https://t.co/l6zHV9iMKv

— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) January 27, 2020

How will the module function?

Axiom Space's module will attach itself to the ISS' Node 2 forward port. The aim is for it to provide products and services while starting the transition to a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy. NASA will be one of its main customers.

A big step forward in opening the @Space_Station to commercial opportunities: a new element for the station will be developed and built by a company based in Texas. We've selected @Axiom_Space of Houston to provide at least one habitable commercial module: https://t.co/6owTqEXcbCpic.twitter.com/fanG2jNwrm

— NASA (@NASA) January 27, 2020

NASA's plan to open the ISS to new commercial and marketing opportunities includes five elements. One of these elements is the development of commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit, and this is where Axiom Space comes in with their module.

NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said "Axiom’s work to develop a commercial destination in space is a critical step for NASA to meet its long-term needs for astronaut training, scientific research, and technology demonstrations in low-Earth orbit."

Open for business! @Axiom_Space of Houston has been selected to provide a habitable commercial module for the @Space_Station. An exciting development in the effort to create a robust low-Earth orbit economy. More: https://t.co/kJdasSjGWX

— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) January 27, 2020

Bridenstine continued, "We are transforming the way NASA works with industry to benefit the global economy and advance space exploration. It is a similar partnership that this year will return the capability of American astronauts to launch to the space station on American rockets from American soil."


Watch the video: HOW IT WORKS: The International Space Station (January 2022).