NASA-Axiom: First Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently signed an agreement with Axiom Space.

What is the Agreement?

Under the agreement, Axiom is to send its astronauts to International Space Station. This is the first private astronaut mission to the space station. The mission has been named as Ax-1.

What is the plan?

The Axiom astronauts will spend eight days in the space station. They will conduct activities to coordinate with the space station on the ground. This is like a testing or learning project. Also, Axiom will purchase crew supplies, orbit resources, cargo delivery to space and storage from NASA.

Background

The International Space Station is to retire by 2024 or 2028. Russia had already announced that it is moving out of International Space Station after the agreement ends in 2024. Russia is currently building its own space station.

With the ISS retiring, NASA is to open it up for commercial activities.

India’s Own Space Station

India is planning to launch its own space station in 2020. With this India will join the elite countries US, China and Russia. The Indian Space Station will be smaller, that is, of 20 tonnes. It will be used for performing microgravity experiments and not for space tourism.

The Indian Space Station is to beset up at a  height of 400 km.

This project will be an extension of the Gaganyaan Mission.

Space Stations are important to collect meaningful scientific data. They are used to study about the effects of long term space flight on human body.

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