Plans for the world’s first international private space station are under the works. The station would serve as a global community to both private and sovereign astronauts. The aim of the builders of the Axiom International Commercial Space Station is enlarge the landscape of low-Earth orbit to create a shift in human spaceflight.
The space outpost will be available to the nations, individuals and organizations and could make working and living in Earth orbit a commonplace which will support further deep space exploration. Amir Blachman, vice president of development of Axiom Space which is a company based in Houston, said that the company is planning to build a privately owned successor to the International Space Station.
Blachman stated that the goal of the company is to build an orbiting outpost which will host private companies, government agency astronauts and individuals for research, space exploration system testing and manufacturing and the development of a healthy space tourism business.
According to Blachman, talks are already underway with the company’s first non government astronaut customers. Axiom has also begun conversations with more than 20 countries and the company is also working out details with its first manufacturing and research tenant.
According to Blachman, Axiom wants to have contracts in place in 2017 to start driving revenues and project advancement. By cinching first and second rounds of funding, the group can start construction of the Axiom space station. The pace for the project will be quick as there is demand for the space station.
Axiom had partnered with an enterprising California based company called Made In Space in the mid part of January. They created a 3D printed products on board the ISS. The partnership is to work out the logistics in space manufacturing. They are looking at how to best outfit an in-space factory with power, utilities, equipment and thermal management to handle future customers.
Aside from Axiom, there are many other privately owned companies who are looking to build a private space station to succeed ISS if world governments should stop funding the space station project. One such company is Bigelow Aerospace, which has developed the BEAM initiative and aims to cater to space tourism by creating space hotels as reported by the Scientific American.
Axiom would be able to support astronauts at a much cheaper rate than the $7.5 million cost each day on the ISS. Space travelers will undergo training on par with astronaut training done by NASA Axiom already has NASA approval to attach its first commercial module to the ISS by the year 2020 as reported by Mail Online.