An American technology entrepreneur, a former Israeli pilot, and a Canadian businessman are going to incur about $55 million each to stay at the International Space Station for a period of eight days.
Countries incurring heavy expenses for sending their astronauts to space is a common phenomenon but individuals spending millions of dollars out of their own pocket to visit space is an unprecedented development in the field of space science. In a first, a former Israeli pilot, an American technology entrepreneur and a Canadian businessman are going to incur about $55 million each to stay at the International Space Station for a period of eight days, the Indian Express reported. The first entirely private orbital space mission will be conducted on a SpaceX rocket and the mission will be organised by the US based spaceflight firm Axiom. Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria who is working with Axiom will be leading the mission.
Axiom’s chief executive and president Mike Suffredini while commending the passion and interest of the three individuals told the Associated Press that the space mission is being undertaken by the individuals for the betterment of their countries and communities.
The first entirely private orbital space mission
The mission which has been named as Axiom Mission 1 (AX 1) is being conducted as part of a commercial agreement with the US space agency NASA. It is pertinent to note that private individuals have travelled to space even before, this is the first time when the mission will be conducted on a commercially built spacecraft called SpaceX Dragon 2.
Previous Russia has allowed rich businessmen from around the globe to ride on its Soyuz aircraft to the ISS. The businessmen have travelled to the ISS with professional astronauts. Till the year 2019, American space agency NASA had never allowed any private individual to travel to the ISS but it reversed its stance the same year by saying that such visits would help the space industry commercially.
When is the mission going to be launched?
The collaborative mission between Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Axiom, in all likelihood, is going to take off latest by January 2022. After ascending from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station in about 24-48 hours and stay at the ISS for a period of eight days.
Is AX 1 a vacation mission?
Contrary to the general expectation that the individuals will behold the wonders of space and satisfy their curious buds, Axiom has categorically said that the mission is not a vacation. The three individuals will be trained to assist the astronauts residing at the ISS in their research work and other philanthropic projects.
What physical and scientific training is being imparted to the individuals?
Axiom has said that like all astronauts, the participants will have to pass all the physical and medical tests before being allowed to board the spacecraft. The company also said that the individuals will be imparted a 15 week rigorous training to deal with any eventuality.