Meet the first private customers SpaceX will launch into space.

Private Crew

Axiom Space, the company that wants to build its own space station, just announced the crew for Ax-1: the world's first entirely-private mission into orbit.

The four-man crew, which will be launched in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, looks a bit different from the typical off-world mission. As notes, members of the crew will become the second and third-oldest people to enter orbit, as one example. Depending on the International Space Station's schedule, the Ax-1 crew could take flight as soon as January 2022, marking a bit of space history as missions move out of government agencies' hands for the first time.

Roll Call

The crew itself includes four men with a wide range of backgrounds and relevant experience. Retired NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who's spent hundreds of days in space, is set to serve as the mission's commander, according to, so at least the mission will have experienced leadership.

Joining Lopez-Alegria will be Larry Connor, an American real estate entrepreneur who will serve as pilot for the mission — though notes that SpaceX designed its crewed Dragon capsule to be as autonomous as possible. Then there's former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, who at 63 will become the third-oldest person to enter orbit behind 77-year-old Connor, and finally Canadian investor Mark Pathy.

Major Investment

Though Ax-1 is being planned through a commercial agreement with NASA, it will use privately-owned spacecraft and be funded with private investments. The mission, if all goes well, will largely serve as a test for Axiom Space's grander ambitions, reports.

Those include building and launching a "space hotel" for mega-wealthy space tourists and, bizarrely, launching Tom Cruise to the Space Station to film an action movie.

READ MORE: Axiom Space names first private crew to launch to space station []

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