Axiom Mission 3 starts in January 2024: what we know about it

10th Nov 2023
Axiom Mission 3 starts in January 2024: what we know about it

Axiom Mission 3, the first all-European commercial astronaut mission to the International Space Station, is planned for January 2024. Ax-3 will be carried out by Axiom Space using the Crew Dragon spacecraft and will last about 14 days.

As stated on the mission’s website, “Ax-3 redefines the pathway to low-Earth orbit for nations around the globe”. Moreover, “this mission marks a new era of opportunity for countries to join the international space community and access low-Earth orbit to advance exploration and research in microgravity”.

What countries will participate in the flight?

In a historic collaboration, Italy, Türkiye, and Sweden, facilitated by the European Space Agency (ESA), have co for theme together for the Ax-3 initiative. As part of this groundbreaking project, Türkiye is set to launch its inaugural astronaut into space as it marks a significant step in expanding the country’s capabilities in space exploration and establishes a dedicated national human spaceflight program. Notably, Ax-3 will also be the inaugural commercial spaceflight mission for an astronaut sponsored by the ESA. For Italy, the Ax-3 mission embodies a comprehensive national effort aimed at advancing its pursuit of safe, secure, and efficient access to space.

Meet the Ax-3 crew

Axiom Mission 3 starts in January 2023: meet the crew

The Ax-3 mission will be led by Axiom Space’s Chief Astronaut, Michael López-Alegría, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Spain and former NASA astronaut. López-Alegría, who previously commanded Axiom Mission 1. Assisting him is Italian Air Force Col. Walter Villadei, serving as the pilot. The mission specialists are Alper Gezeravcı from Türkiye and European Space Agency (ESA) project astronaut Marcus Wandt from Sweden.

What are the primary objectives of Ax-3?

Once successfully attached to the space station, the Ax-3 astronauts have scheduled a comprehensive 14-day mission including microgravity research, educational outreach, and commercial ventures. Onboard, they plan to execute over 30 distinct experiments, generating valuable data that will contribute to our comprehension of human physiology both on Earth and in orbit. This research aims to propel scientific understanding forward, unlock opportunities for industrial advancements, and foster the development of technologies crucial for humanity’s progress.

Also, in collaboration with various scientific organizations, Axiom Space is dedicated to expanding our knowledge of the impact of spaceflight on the human body. Additionally, they are exploring avenues for applied research in space, seeking to derive benefits for health and medical treatments on Earth.

The Axiom Space mission places significant emphasis on fostering both commercial and academic partnerships. Thus, the company takes the lead in constructing a worldwide research community and cultivating a resilient, sustainable economic ecosystem in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

The liftoff is scheduled from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, no earlier than January 2024. No doubt, the upcoming Ax-3 mission marks a pivotal moment in space exploration.

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