Miami (EFE).- The Hispanic-American Michael López-Alegría will be the commander of the third mission of the private company Axiom to the International Space Station (ISS), which will take off from Florida (USA) in January 2024. reported the American firm.
The Ax-3, which will take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be “the first fully European commercial astronaut mission to be launched to the ISS,” as Texas-based Axiom Space noted today in a statement. .
It will be the first manned commercial mission sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA). The Turkish Alper Gezeravc will travel on it, the first national from that country to travel to space.
The Axiom Space mission crew
Gezeravc will go as a mission specialist, as will the Swede Marcus Wandt. The pilot of the mission will be the Italian Walter Villadei.
They will be joined by López-Alegría, chief astronaut of Axiom Space. In April 2022 he commanded this firm’s first commercial mission, Ax-1. It spent 17 days on the ISS and was made up of four private crew members.
“The Ax-3 mission will be transformative as it fosters partnerships outside of ISS construction and positions European nations as pioneers of the emerging commercial space industry,” López-Alegría said in a statement.
The expedition, which for 14 days on the ISS will carry out scientific research, as well as educational and commercial activities, will travel aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule propelled by a Falcon 9 rocket.
Angela Hart, manager of NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, noted that “each of these missions is a next step in building our shared future in low Earth orbit.”
The fourth private mission
The US space agency announced that it has signed an agreement with Axiom Space for the fourth private mission with astronauts. Whose launch will take place from August 2024.
After the success of Ax-1, the firm carried out its second manned commercial mission to the ISS in May of this year. He remained there for nine days conducting scientific and educational research.
These missions are “precursors” to the world’s first commercial space station that Axiom Space plans to build, which will accommodate “countries, institutions, industries and individuals with new ideas that drive a human economy beyond Earth,” the company said. US.
“Axiom Space is helping nations and organizations create human spaceflight programs, develop astronaut selection programs, and provide the expertise needed to expand the international community of space explorers to a broader and more diverse representation of humanity,” he added.