It's all coming together.
Building a Station
Space startup Axiom Space is making significant progress on its all-private space station dubbed Axiom Station, which it claims will be "the successor to the International Space Station."
Images shared by former NASA astronaut Micahel López-Alegría, who was part of the startup's first all-private astronaut mission to the ISS last April, show massive segments of the Axiom Station being fabricated at a factory in Italy.
The images show huge metal rings and cylindrical segments that appear to be part of a docking port.
It's incredible to see photos of the @Axiom_Space Station #HabOne beginning to take shape at @Thales_Alenia_S in Italy! pic.twitter.com/0pJxDLGgOC
— Michael L-A (@CommanderMLA) February 15, 2023
Putting It All Together
According to Axiom Space's website, the "construction of the world’s first commercial space station is underway," and engineers at the factory in Italy have already begun "welding and machining activities for the primary structures of Axiom Station's first module."
The module dubbed Hab One will eventually be put together in Houston, Texas, and is scheduled to launch in late 2025 — if, that is, everything goes according to plan.
The company is viewing its station as a hub for research in microgravity as well as a place to spend time in orbit.
Saudis in Space
Long before the completion of its own station, Axiom Space is gearing up to launch its second all-private mission to the ISS, including two crew members from Saudi Arabia, the first members of the kingdom's national astronaut program.
If all goes according to plan, that Ax-2 mission will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in the spring aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
As for its highly ambitious all-private space station, the company clearly has its work cut out judging by its sleek renders.
But as evidenced by the photos, the progress so far is tangible.
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