While dreaming big in Earth, Axiom Space looks at the moon


Axiom Space was founded in 2016, so it’s coming up on that 10-year mark — and the Houston-based company has already checked off a lot of boxes that were likely on its milestone list.
For example, Axiom has organized three all-private crewed missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and obtained a NASA contract to send the first commercial module to the ISS.
The company is also building the spacesuits that NASA’s Artemis astronauts will use during their exploration of the lunar surface.
“The missions we’ve done — three over the last three years, we’ve sent eight countries to space,” Bhatia added.
The excitement and the outreach for reaching everyone to know about space — it’s a new era for space.”
Such missions, Axiom says, will continue to build knowledge and skills that contribute to the company’s goal of building and operating the world’s first commercial space station.
Since the AxEMU prototype unveiling in March 2023, Axiom Space has made substantial progress in suit design and testing.
The suit design is beyond the preliminary design review point with NASA and will enter the critical design review phase in June 2024.


When launching a new business or during a job interview, the question “What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?” is frequently posed.

Over the course of its nearly ten years since its founding in 2016, Houston-based Axiom Space has crossed many items off of what was probably its milestone list.

As an illustration, Axiom has secured a NASA contract to launch the first commercial module to the International Space Station (ISS) and arranged three all-private crewed missions to the ISS. The spacesuits that NASA’s Artemis astronauts will wear while exploring the lunar surface are also being made by this company.

Related: All the information you require about NASA’s Artemis program.

During last month’s 39th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Tejpaul Bhatia, chief revenue officer at Axiom Space, told Space . com, “The biggest points of excitement for me are the missions, the spacesuit, and the station.”.

“The missions we’ve completed—three in the last three years—have sent eight nations into space,” Bhatia continued. “We will continue to collaborate with the more than 50 commercial and research partners that we have already worked with on those missions. More countries and more businesses will be participating in the upcoming mission [to the ISS]. It’s a new era for space, and there’s excitement and outreach to let everyone know about it. “.”.

As “the first all-European commercial astronaut mission” to the International Space Station (ISS), the company’s private Ax-3 mission made history at the start of this year. The 22-day Ax-3 mission, which was Axiom’s longest mission to date, launched a Turkish citizen into space for the first time and gave Italy permission to take on a new role in commercial spaceflight.

An Italian Air Force (ItAF)-developed conjunction warning system was used to keep an eye out for potential collision threats while in orbit. Researchers were given information by the Italian Space Operations Centre demonstration that would enable crews to independently obtain near-real-time collision warnings without heavily depending on Earth support. The group also had the opportunity to test out additional instruments that track space weather and solar activity.

The most exciting aspect is attempting to forge connections between the Italian industrial ecosystem and the United States by utilizing all the legacy that Italy has amassed over the past 60 years to construct new bridges alongside our domestic industries. S. one “Ax-3 pilot Walter Villadei, an ItAF colonel, said. The Air Force is one example; we view space as a kind of extension of our natural surroundings, so we want to be there and learn how to act and function there. It’s a special instance of time. “.

Another crew will be sent to the ISS for a maximum of two weeks on Axiom’s fourth mission, Ax-4, which is expected to launch no earlier than this October. According to Axiom, these missions will continue to expand knowledge and expertise that will help the company achieve its objective of developing and running the first commercial space station in history.

In addition, Axiom is producing and testing the spacesuit that astronauts will use for NASA’s Artemis 3 mission, which is slated to launch in September 2026, when they land on the moon. In March, the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU), a prototype of this suit, was unveiled. The prototype needs to be assessed and changed further before the crucial review phase starts in June, just like any other space technology would.

In the event of an emergency, Villadei stated, “the suit is supposed to have multiple layers of safety so you have to be able to react quickly and to minimize your action to get back safe on whatever is going to be your environment.”. Numerous factors are combined to create it. “.”.

For instance, in addition to offering comfort and mobility, the suit must be able to withstand the harsh and shifting conditions of the lunar surface. For at least two hours, it must also be able to endure a broad range of temperatures.

Axiom Space has made significant strides in suit design and testing since revealing the AxEMU prototype in March 2023. Entering the critical design review phase in June 2024, the suit design has progressed beyond NASA’s preliminary design review stage.

There are numerous additional systems and subsystems inside that suit, so Bhatia explained, “We’re bringing in many commercial partners, many of whom worked on the original spacesuits, but many of whom are bringing new design elements.”.

“I know you may not think of commercial elements from brands in terms of space, but when you hear that they’re part of it, it will make perfect sense,” he continued. “I predict that it will appear at first to be a private enterprise collaborating with public institutions, but very soon it will reverse, revealing an entire space economy featuring well-known, recognizable brands that we use on a daily basis. This is not going to be this idea that this is some other frontier; rather, it is a reality in our daily lives. “.

Additional contributions from Axiom Space to the Artemis missions could come from the company’s partnership with Astrolab and Odyssey Space Research on the FLEX lunar rover project, which is one of three private initiatives recently funded by NASA for development work. Artemis astronauts will drive the Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV), which is anticipated to be one of these three private designs.

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