Space Station Startup Gravitics Will Build Space Infrastructure For Axiom Station

11th Jul 2024
Space Station Startup Gravitics Will Build Space Infrastructure For Axiom Station

Aerospace startup Gravitics has signed a $125-million contract with Axiom Space to provide a pressurized spacecraft that will support Axiom Station operations. The Gravitics spacecraft will play a crucial role. Also, it will be capable of providing various services while attached to the commercial space station.

Commercial Destinations In Low Earth Orbit Instead Of ISS?

NASA plans to retire the International Space Station at the end of the decade. To that end, it has launched the Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development (CLD) Program. This program supports the development of commercially owned and operated LEO destinations from which NASA, along with other customers, can purchase services and stimulate the growth of commercial activities in Low Earth Orbit. As commercial Low Earth Orbit destinations (CLDs) become available, NASA intends to implement a transition from International Space Station (ISS) operations to these new CLDs. 

Axiom Space is one of the leaders in the commercial space industry. So, it was the first to win a NASA contract for building space station modules. Axiom Station, which is currently under construction, is considered to be one of the most advanced platforms in low-Earth orbit.

Already, Axiom has modules of its space station being built by Italian aerospace contractor Thales Alenia. The newly-announced partnership with Gravitics will add another “pressurized spacecraft” that would attach to Axiom’s station.

Propulsion Test Firing at Gravitics' Washington Facility
Propulsion Test Firing at Gravitics’ Washington Facility. Credit: Gravitics

Gravitics has been working on prototypes and testing key parts, such as test-firing its propulsion system and pressure-testing. Later this year, Gravitics will fly some of its components to the ISS for testing and plans to launch a spacecraft by 2026.

About Gravitics

Founded in 2021, Gravitics is an aerospace company based near Seattle. It designs and manufactures advanced space structures, including pressurized space station modules – the building blocks for next-generation space platforms.

Commercial space station product lineup with human for scale
Commercial space station product lineup with a human for scale. Credit: Gravitics

Gravitics offers a range of space station products, including structures as small as 3 meters in diameter and commercial space station modules as large as nearly 8 meters in diameter.

The StarMax module
The StarMax module. Credit: Gravitics

One Gravitics concept is called StarMax. It is a huge cylindrical module 7.6 meters in diameter, offering 400 cubic meters of volume, which is about 40% of the volume of the entire International Space Station.

The contract with Axiom is a catalyst for Gravitics’ growth, Gravitics CEO and founder Colin Doughan said. The agreement between Axiom and Gravitics is the startup’s most significant yet.

“Axiom Space and Gravitics are working together to develop space infrastructure to enable a sustainable global space economy in low-Earth orbit,” said Matt Ondler, President of Axiom Space.

Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Related Articles

Explore Orbital Today