The International Space Station Is Receiving A Commercial Module

  • The International Space Station Is Receiving A Commercial Module

The International Space Station Is Receiving A Commercial Module

United States astronaut Christina Koch and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano pose for a photo with a cookie baked on the International Space Station.

The first module is expected to be launched in the second half of 2024.

USA astronaut Christina Koch, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station.

The wider context for the announcement is NASA's increasing openness to private participation in space travel, the Commercial Crew Program being just one example, with plans also being mooted for enterprise to ultimately take over and replace the ISS's function as it reaches the end of its life. At this point, Axiom says that NASA will no longer have to cover the cost of operating or installing a new International Space Station. Last June, the agency formally began seeking a partner for the vacant port as part of it's low Earth orbit commercialization initiative.

A swim in the Gulf of Mexico paired with chips and salsa will be first for NASA astronaut Christina Koch when returns to Earth next week, having achieved a historic first: the longest single spaceflight for a woman - with more than 300 days on the International Space Station. NASA has tied up with a startup company named Exium Space for this work. On Monday, NASA announced they picked the startup called Axiom Space, based in Houston, to help them build a space hotel on the ISS.

"We both drew a lot of inspiration from seeing people that were reflections of ourselves as we were growing up and developing our dreams to become astronauts", Koch told the Associated Press from the space station.

"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", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a press release.

"We are changing how NASA works with industry to profit the worldwide economy and advance space investigation", he included.

Although Axion has yet to reveal any specific details about the module, the company has stated it will likely include a node module, research and manufacturing capabilities, a crew habitat, and a large-windowed observation module.

Axiom Space was cofounded by Kam Ghaffarian and former ISS Program Manager Michael Suffredini. "The collective experience at Axiom is quite far along it".