SpaceX has agreed to send Axiom Space private crews to the International Space Station through three more commercial flights with the Dragon spacecraft.
The missions would mark the first trips that fly private crews to ISS using Dragon, which SpaceX developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew program, Axiom said Wednesday.
The space agency launched the program to access space transport services from the U.S. space industry.
Axiom’s first to fourth private ISS missions — named Ax-1, Ax-2, Ax-3 and Ax-4 — will all use Dragon as the transport vessel. Ax-1 is scheduled to launch in January 2022.
Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer at SpaceX and a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, said the company’s partnership with Axiom is aimed at opening more opportunities for human spaceflight.
Axiom is building a habitable module that would link to the International Space Station and function as laboratory and residential infrastructure in low Earth orbit to support NASA initiatives. The development is under a potential $140M indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from the space agency.