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

The module will attach itself to the ISS' Node 2 forward port.

NASA Selects Axiom for First Commercial Module for the International Space Station
Axiom's habitable space moduleAxiom Space

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. 

NASA Selects Axiom for First Commercial Module for the International Space Station
The ISS, where Axiom Space's module will be based, Source: NASA

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. 

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. 

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."

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."

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