It is 2021, it is the future, and space tourism is really here. If you have $55 million and several months to burn.
Axiom Space, an aerospace manufacturer based in Houston, operates under the loft mission of having the world’s first commercial space station. That’s still a long way off, but they have made another major stride off-world; Axiom announced last fall that they would be making the first entirely private trip to the International Space station, with a grew of paying guests.
While early rumors flew that Tom Cruise and producer Doug Liman would be aboard for the ultimate adventure in on-location movie filming, an Axiom representative announced in January 2021 that the paying passengers would instead be Eytan Stibbe from Israel, Larry Conner from the United States, and Mark Pathy from Canada. The three would be led by Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut and ISS commander hired by Axiom.
(They did, however, confirm that Cruise and Liman are booked for another flight, at a later date. There are currently contracts and soft plans for four flights.)
The mission, titled Ax-1, will use a SpaceX rocket to take the four men to rendevous with ISS, where they will stay for eight days, each working on research projects for their country’s space agencies and for private companies, then return to earth. In those eight days, they should make over 125 orbits around the planet, an unimaginable distance of travel.
“We sought to put together a crew for this historic mission that had demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving the lives of the people on Earth, and I’m glad to say we’ve done that with this group,” Axiom Space President and CEO Michael Suffredini said when the company announced the roster. We’ll have to take their word for that, but congratulations to the team all the same.
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