NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins conduct spacewalk Wednesday

NASA shows the core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket

Cruz will not, however, be one of Axiom's first four space travelers, but instead will be American pilot Larry Connor, Canadian Mark Pathy and Israeli Eitan Steppe, both of whom have earned the nickname "mission specialist".

They'll be led by a former Nasa astronaut now working for Axiom Space, the Houston company that arranged the trip for next January. All of the trio are wealthy entrepreneurs and investors.

Axion's Chief executive and President Mike Suffredini said that this would be the first-ever private flight to the International Space Station.

"As the first fully private mission to go to the ISS, we feel an enormous responsibility to do it well", mission commander Michael López-Alegría told The Verge.

Writing in Air & Space past year about the process of jettisoning objects, veteran NASA engineer Mike Engle explained how launching decommissioned parts from the space station can be a risky process, a fact that prompted him to help create an official ISS Jettison Policy to ensure that such activities are carried out safely.

On the next excursion, for which a date has not yet been announced, Glover and American astronaut Kate Rubins will prepare the ISS power system for a power boost using a new array of photovoltaic cells that draw energy from the Sun. The space agency does not have age restrictions for astronaut candidates, who generally range from 26 to 46 years old.

The first private ISS crew in the history of humankind has been assembled.

At 70, Connor will become the second-oldest person to fly in space, after John Glenn's shuttle flight in 1998 at 77. They all are going with an intention to perform research in the orbit, in addition to the educational outreach. The four-person crew will remain aboard the USA segment of the ISS for approximately eight days conducting research and undertaking "philanthropic projects".

And finally Rubins and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will work on other updates outside the ISS at a date to be determined. Axiom said the group will conduct some science and philanthropic activities while on board the station.

The astronauts focused on progress with the installation of Bartolomeo, the newest payload hosting station outside the European Space Agency's Columbus module. And when the space station is retired, the Axiom modules would break off to continue in orbit on their own.

In 2019, NASA confirmed in a press release that private stays on the space station will be quite expensive while announcing that it is opening the ISS for commercial business.

The space agency has a plan to recoup the steep costs of a private citizen visiting the space station. The price sheet also includes a data plan, priced at $50 per gigabyte.



Other news