NASA partners with startup Axiom Space to create the first commercial living module for the International Space Station.
Its main purpose will be to receive future space tourists and private visitors, who will be able to use it not only for observing the Earth from orbit, but also for conducting experiments, developing technologies and much more. The new module will connect to the front node port of the second station.
Axiom Space plans to partner with SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Boeing and other companies offering commercial space flight services. In addition to accommodating travelers, the startup will also provide maintenance services for ships in orbit..
The Future of Human Spaceflight – for NASA Astronauts and Space Tourists
The parties are still clarifying the terms of the contract, so it is not yet known exactly when the commercial module will be ready, but Axiom intends to start offering space rent on the ISS from 2021. In addition, according to the text of the agreement, NASA will provide at least one habitable module, which implies the possibility of increasing their number in the future.
Commercial module interior design project
The space agency plans to gradually develop this direction, in order to eventually commercialize the existing station and activities in low Earth orbit..
Possibly obtained this way facilities will go towards the costs of more expensive missions such as sending a $ 1 billion drone to Saturn’s moon Titan to look for signs of life.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Axiom Space, diplo