Space: Europeans on the ISS as part of the Ax-3 private mission

Saturday January 20, the International Space Station, the ISS, welcomed a European crew, including the first Turk to go into space, as part of a new private mission organized by the company Axiom Space.

This is the third for the American firm. 

Passengers of the private mission organized by the company Axiom Space, alongside members of the International Space Station after their arrival at the station, January 20, 2024 © AFP / NASA TV

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In the crew of this private mission, called Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3), there is no wealthy client wishing to realize his dream of space with tens of millions of dollars, while the first mission had sent three men into orbit. 'business.

This time, only passengers whose tickets were financed by public agencies: in addition to a Swedish astronaut financed by the European Space Agency, an Italian air pilot and astronaut, there is a colonel from the Army of the Turkish air force, who thus becomes

the first Turk to go into space


The mission reached the ISS, in orbit 420 kilometers above Earth, after a 36-hour journey, according to the Axiom Space website.

The @SpaceX Dragon's hatch opened at 7:13am ET today and four #Ax3 astronauts from @Axiom_Space entered the space station meeting the Expedition 70 crew.


— International Space Station (@Space_Station) January 20, 2024

This third private mission reveals the role of the private sector in supporting the ambitions of nations which do not have their own human spaceflight program.

The second mission had already allowed two Saudis, a man and a woman, supported by their government to stay on the ISS.

Conduct scientific experiments

The crew which has just arrived aboard the international station was welcomed by the seven astronauts already there, two American astronauts, a Dane, a Japanese and three Russian cosmonauts.

They must stay there for two weeks and carry out a series of scientific experiments, in particular to better understand the impact of microgravity on the human body.

The exact costs of the Ax-3 mission have not been made public, but in 2018, when the company announced its program, including leasing SpaceX equipment and a fee from NASA for use of the station, it had set a cost of $55 million per seat.

NASA, the American Space Agency, therefore invoices the use of the ISS to the company Axiom Space, whose objective is to build its own commercial space station, which will initially be attached to the ISS .

NASA, for its part, plans to retire the ISS around 2030 and send its astronauts to private stations.


And with


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