Written By: Kieran Potter
Published: Wed, Aug 9, 2023 6:55 PM
Latest Update: Wed, Aug 9, 2023 6:56 PM
Axiom Space and the European Space Agency (ESA), have signed an agreement to send an ESA astronaut from Poland into space through an upcoming Axiom Space mission. Specific details about the mission and the identity of the Polish astronaut will be formally disclosed at a later point, pending approval from NASA and its international partners.
“Poland will be the second ESA-sponsored nation to send an astronaut on a commercial human spaceflight mission, establishing a growing network of nations in Europe eager to explore the benefits of microgravity and positioning the region as pioneers of commercial space...We are excited to work with Poland and ESA to build a comprehensive mission plan in support of both national and agency objectives, and we look forward to bringing on additional partner nations around the world in an effort to build the human experience in low-Earth orbit.” - Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space
The selected ESA astronaut will center their efforts on scientific research and educational outreach while in orbit.
Axiom Space, in coordination with ESA, will handle all necessary elements for mission preparation and execution. This includes access to training facilities and instructors, hardware and safety certification, on-orbit management, and post-mission support.
Acting as the crew provider, ESA will enter into an agreement with Axiom Space to define and execute mission objectives and ensure all operational services are in place.
“Cooperation with ESA and Axiom Space is an important step in the development of both the Polish space sector and science...A Polish astronaut will have the opportunity to test the most advanced Polish technologies. For our companies, this is a unique opportunity to gain flight heritage, which will be a proof of the quality of Polish products. The educational aspect is also important for us, as we hope it will result in the interest of many young people in the space sector.” - Waldemar Buda, Polan Minister of Economic Development and Technology
“This reinforced engagement will enable new possibilities for Poland to lift its capabilities in the fast-emerging domain of space,” Asbacher said, “while the cooperation with Axiom Space opens new opportunities for our ESA astronauts.” - Josef Asbacher, ESA’s Director General
In April 2023, Axiom Space and the Swedish National Space Agency signed a letter of intent to dispatch an ESA astronaut to the ISS. This agreement has now translated into the upcoming Axiom Space mission, Ax-3, which is set for launch in January 2024. This mission is poised to become the first commercial endeavor to the ISS featuring an ESA project astronaut.
Axiom Space is a prominent player in the commercial space sector, offering end-to-end crewed missions to the ISS. Their proficient team supports nations and organizations in building human spaceflight initiatives, devising astronaut selection procedures, and contributing the expertise necessary to diversify and expand the global community of space explorers, encompassing a broader representation of humanity.
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