Axiom Space's 'space program in a box' opens space up to the whole world

The new tiered program gives governments with no space infrastructure access to state-of-the-art orbital research facilities.
Chris Young
Axiom Space Station
Axiom Space Station


Axiom Space, the private space firm that helped send tourists up to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, has announced a new program that will make human spaceflight accessible to nations that don't have their own space infrastructure.

The Axiom Space Access Program will offer governments a tiered approach to researching the International Space Station (ISS) or Axiom's upcoming space station.

New tiered program for nations with spacefaring ambitions

The new program will give governments the unprecedented opportunity to fly their astronauts. To date, astronauts from many countries have flown to space, though they have done so, for the most part, via U.S., Russian, or Chinese launch infrastructure.

In an interview with SpaceNews, Tejpaul Bhatia, chief revenue officer at Axiom, said the program can be characterized as a "space program in a box".

"The real key is that turnkey access at affordable, sustainable, and predictable rates," Bhatia continued.

For the base tier of the Axiom Space Access Program, the company provides countries with advice and insight and gives those nations priority access to upcoming missions. The second tier allows research and development activities. The third enables governments to send astronauts to space on a regular mission, while the fourth allows countries to co-develop part of Axiom's stations with their own interests in mind.

Axiom Space has announced that it already has the nations of Azerbaijan, New Zealand, and Uzbekistan on board for its new program.

Making orbital space more accessible

Axiom Space has a history of making space more accessible. The company's Ax-1 mission saw it charter a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule to send a group of civilians to the ISS. Two Saudi Arabian astronauts are flying on the Ax-2 mission in May, while an Italian astronaut is scheduled to fly on the Ax-3 mission in late 2023.

In a press statement, Michael Suffredini, president and CEO of Axiom Space, said, "We believe space should be accessible to all nations, and this program will allow us to work with countries around the world to advance our collective understanding of space, unlock the benefits of microgravity, and build prosperity through opportunity."

The private space firm is also working towards launching its own commercial space station — one of several private orbital stations slated to succeed the ISS. Last month, meanwhile, Axiom Space unveiled the new Artemis moon missions spacesuit, which it developed as part of a collaboration with NASA.

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