Axiom Space selects the first private crew to leave for a space station

Axiom Space selects the first private crew to leave for a space station

January 26, 2021

The crew of the first fully private orbital space mission will include the second-oldest person to be launched into space, the second Israeli in space, the 11th Canadian to fly into space and the first former NASA astronaut to return to the International Space Station. The company behind the flight announced.

Axiom Space on Tuesday (Jan 26) unveiled its clients for its first privately financed and commissioned mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) flight is arranged under a commercial agreement with NASA.

Scheduled to be launched on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft: Larry Connor, American real estate and technology entrepreneur; Eitan Step, former Israeli businessman and pilot. Mark Bathy, Canadian investor and philanthropist; And Michael Lopez-Alegria, a retired NASA astronaut who logged nearly 260 days on four previous missions.

Lopez Alegria, who retired from NASA in 2012 and is now vice president of Axiom, will take over the 10-day mission of Axiom. Connor, who has flown more than 16 different aircraft and competed in the US National Air Force Championships, will act as a Dragon Pilot – the first private astronaut to lead an orbital space mission. SpaceX designed the manned Dragon capsule to fly autonomously, with only necessary human input in emergency situations.

Depending on other activities scheduled on the space station, the Ax-1 mission could be launched as soon as January 2022. Axiom had previously announced that Lopez-Alegria would fly as Ax-1 commander in September 2020. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin announced that Stibbe I will join the mission in two months in November.

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On Tuesday, revealed a live broadcast on ABC Good morning America, It was the first time that Connor and Pathé had been assigned to the Ax-1 mission.

At 71 years old, Connor will become the second oldest person to fly into space (only surpassed by the late John Glenn, who made his second space flight at the age of 77). President of the Connor Group, a luxury apartment investment firm with more than $ 3 billion in assets, Connor has co-founded two fintech companies and created the Connor Kids and Community Partners, which serves underprivileged youth in the communities in which the Connor Group operates.

In addition to flying, Connor also competes in off-road races, has toured the Zambezi River in Africa and the Futaleovo River in South America and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Rainier in Washington state.

Bathy, 50, will be the eleventh Canadian to fly into space, after nine astronauts from the Canadian Space Agency and the co-founder of Cirque du Soleil, who became the first to be called a “space tourist” in Canada in 2009.

Pathé is the CEO and Chairman of Mavrik, a privately owned investment and finance firm, and is the Chairman of the Stingray Group, a Montreal-based music, media and technology company. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Pathé Family Foundation and a member of the boards of directors and executive committees of both Dans la Rue and the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Born in Haifa, Steppe will be the second Israeli to go into space, after his friend Ilan Ramon, who tragically passed away aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 2003. “Eitan Stibi will fly a blue and white flag. [on] His costume, reminds us that the sky is no longer the limit! Rivlin He said last year. “Thanks to the Ramon Foundation for supporting the initiative.”

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Stibbe is the founder of the Vital Capital Fund, which focuses mainly on commercial and financing ventures in Africa. He is also one of the founders and a board member of the Center for African Studies at Ben-Gurion University and a board member of several NGOs dedicated to education, art and culture. At the age of 63, Stibbe will become the third oldest person to enter orbit.

Lopez Alegria will be the first former NASA astronaut to return to orbit and visit the International Space Station. He will also be 63 years old when launched, but he is five months younger than Stibi.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity,” Lopez Alegria told CollectSPACE in his first interview after being chosen to lead the Ax-1. “This looks like a gift from God and I just want to appreciate it.”

Axiom SpaceFounded by Michael Sofredini, a former NASA Space Station Program Director, he will arrange in-flight training and oversight for the Ax-1 crew, with Lopez-Alegria serving as the company’s representative while in space. Former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will train as backup Lopez Alegria. (John Schaufner, a US-based businessman, airshow pilot and race car driver, will support Connor.)

The Ax-1 mission is the first in a series of flights to the space station, including one possibly crewed by Tom Cruise and director Doug Lehman, which is a precursor to the launch of Axiom and the attachment of new commercial units to the International Space Station. The Axiom sector will act as a test bed for the company’s planned free-of-flight Axiom terminal.

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The Ax-1 will be the first fully manned private mission in Earth orbit. Between 2001 and 2009, seven private astronauts (spaceflight participants or so-called “space tourists”) embarked on eight self-funded trips to the International Space Station. Their flights, organized by US space tourism company Space Adventures, were aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft staffed by professional astronauts and NASA (including Lopez Alegria).

MirCorp funded an April 2000 Russian mission, Soyuz TM-30 – the last to dock with the previous Mir space station – but its crew were two Russian astronauts.

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