Author Topic: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission  (Read 2950 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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twitter.com/spacegovuk/status/1717077797548523874

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📢 Exciting announcement!

UK astronauts are gearing up for space! 🚀🇬🇧 👩‍🚀👩‍🚀👨‍🚀👨‍🚀

We have signed a new agreement with @Axiom_Space that could see UK astronauts in orbit:

🔬 conducting scientific research
🔋 demonstrating new technology
👧🏾🧒🏼 engaging in outreach activities

https://twitter.com/spacegovuk/status/1717078430284394966

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The mission would build on the government’s National Space Strategy and the UK Science and Technology Framework, which highlights the important contribution of the UK’s space science capabilities to global relationships. 🌍🤝

Read more 👉

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-space-agency-and-axiom-space-sign-agreement-on-plans-for-historic-human-spaceflight-mission

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UK Space Agency and Axiom Space sign agreement on plans for historic human spaceflight mission
Astronauts from the United Kingdom could fly to space on a future Axiom Space mission, thanks to a new agreement signed between the UK Space Agency and the Houston-based space company.

From:
UK Space Agency
Published
25 October 2023

The agreement between the UK Space Agency and Axiom Space sets out plans for the 2 organisations to work together to pursue a commercially sponsored, UK astronaut mission. The announcement comes as Science Minister George Freeman, is due to open the London Stock Exchange today (25 October), where he will speak about opportunities to bring further investment into the UK space sector.

On this future flight, the UK astronauts would launch to space, spending up to two weeks on orbit to carry out scientific research, demonstrate new technologies, and participate in education and outreach activities. 

The mission would build on the UK government’s National Space Strategy and the UK Science and Technology Framework, which highlights the important contribution of international relationships to the UK’s capabilities and identifies five critical technologies; Artificial Intelligence, engineering biology, future telecommunications, semiconductors and quantum technologies.

George Freeman MP, Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, said:

The prospect of a historic UK mission with Axiom Space has the potential to inspire a whole new generation to reach for the stars, while supporting our efforts to build one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world, so I look forward to seeing the next stage of this exploratory work develop.

We want to put the UK at the forefront of the global race for commercial space investment, continue to support scientists and engineers to test new technologies and carry out important research and, ultimately, bring the benefits back to people and businesses across the country.

Michael Suffredini, Axiom Space CEO, said: 

Axiom Space is looking forward to working with the UK Space Agency on a future human spaceflight mission. With this agreement as the initial foundation, we will build a comprehensive mission plan in support of the UK’s national and agency objectives to advance its capabilities in space exploration and discovery. Together, we will look to harness the benefits of microgravity and help push the boundaries of innovation to advance our civilisation.

The UK Space Agency is calling on UK universities, research institutions and industry to share their ideas for experiments and technology demonstrators which could be conducted by the crew on orbit over a two-week period. 

The UK Space Agency is also interested in ideas from UK organisations for a national space education and public engagement programme alongside the mission to highlight the diverse range of rewarding careers available in the space sector, promote STEM uptake, and highlight the powerful role of space in the lives of UK citizens. 

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said:   

This agreement paves the way for UK astronauts to conduct scientific research in orbit, and to inspire millions of us here on Earth. It takes thousands of people to complete a crewed space mission and return the astronauts safely home, highlighting the huge variety of careers available in the UK space sector right now. There is much to do, and this agreement is the springboard for the UK Space Agency, Axiom Space and the mission sponsors to assess how we best push forward the frontiers of knowledge and innovation, and showcase the power of space to improve lives on Earth.

The UK Space Agency is working with Axiom Space on plans for a commercial mission with the full support of the European Space Agency. 

Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA, said: 

ESA is working on Europe’s preparation of the post-ISS era and the development of a sustainable commercial space economy in Low Earth Orbit. This unique flight will allow ESA to enhance its actions with new partnership schemes and implement together with the United Kingdom a series of research experiments, which will further deepen the knowledge on exploration in and for Europe.

UKspace President, Dr Alice Bunn, said: 

Since the first astronauts landed on the Moon over 50 years ago, human spaceflight has captured the imagination of billions of people. But space is no longer for the privileged few; we have witnessed incredible growth in the application of space technology and data to everyday lives, and we recognise the immense and specific value of humans being able to push the boundaries of science and technology operating within the unique conditions of space. 

For this reason, the agreement between the UK Space Agency and Axiom Space is an incredibly exciting one, providing the potential to extend the already significant innovation that our UK space sector is spearheading.

Axiom Space is the commercial space industry’s only full-service orbital mission provider, conducting end-to-end crewed missions to the International Space Station. The expert team at Axiom Space is helping nations and organisations build human spaceflight programs, develop astronaut selection programs, and provide the expertise needed to expand the international community of space explorers to a larger and more diverse representation of humanity.

Photo caption:

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Axiom Space CRO Tejpaul Bhatia (left) and UK Space Agency CEO Paul Bate (right) shaking hands after signing the agreement between Axiom Space and the UK Space Agency.

Graphic caption:

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The UK Space Agency and Axiom Space logos, seen from space with the sun rising in the background.
« Last Edit: 10/25/2023 07:45 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #1 on: 10/25/2023 08:02 am »
BBC confirms that ‘commercially sponsored’ means no government funding for the mission:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-67207375

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #2 on: 10/25/2023 08:17 am »
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📢 Calling all UK universities, research institutions and industry.

We need your ideas for experiments and technology demonstrators that could be conducted by the crew in orbit.  💡

Find out more 👉

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/request-for-information-uk-space-agencyaxiom-space-astronaut-mission-projects-20242025

https://twitter.com/spacegovuk/status/1717090685269033208

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We are also looking for ideas from UK organisations for a national space education and public engagement programme that highlights the range of UK space sector careers and the important role of space in everyday lives. 🌍🛰

Find out more 👉

https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=BXCsy8EC60O0l-ZJLRst2B9tTPljBXlOlKxwgIjcYsFUQkxQNEJWRTQyU0VNTVRISlFXSzg2VU0xMi4u

Offline hektor

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #3 on: 10/25/2023 08:28 am »
UK has three ESA astronauts with Rosemary Coogan, Meganne Christian (reserve) and John McFall (parastronaut)

So that could make a all UK crew.

That being said I have doubts about this idea of a UK privately funded flight. Such ideas have not fared well in the past. (Die Astronautin, etc).
« Last Edit: 10/25/2023 09:02 am by hektor »

Offline Star One

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #4 on: 10/25/2023 09:57 am »
Tim Peake is coming out of retirement to lead an all British crew to ISS flying with Axiom. The cost of which will be £200 million none of which will be born by the taxpayer.

https://amp.theguardian.com/science/2023/oct/25/tim-peake-quit-retirement-to-lead-uk-first-astronaut-mission

Offline Star One

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #5 on: 10/25/2023 10:03 am »
UK has three ESA astronauts with Rosemary Coogan, Meganne Christian (reserve) and John McFall (parastronaut)

So that could make a all UK crew.

That being said I have doubts about this idea of a UK privately funded flight. Such ideas have not fared well in the past. (Die Astronautin, etc).
Quoted from the article I posted.

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Although the three crew members which will accompany Peake on the mission are yet to be formally announced, the Telegraph reports that they are expected to be the British paralympian John McFall, who is the world’s first disabled astronaut, the astronomer Rosemary Coogan, and the industrial chemist Meganne Christian.

Offline hektor

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #6 on: 10/25/2023 11:58 am »
Tim Peake as CMR would assume that NASA waives their requirement that an experienced NASA astronaut commands visiting private missions to the ISS.

We'll see...
« Last Edit: 10/25/2023 11:59 am by hektor »

Offline Star One

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #7 on: 10/25/2023 01:56 pm »
I suspect it’s no coincidence that Tim Peak’s new book on the history of human spaceflight is published tomorrow in the UK.

Online ajmarco

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #8 on: 10/25/2023 06:00 pm »
Tim Peake as CMR would assume that NASA waives their requirement that an experienced NASA astronaut commands visiting private missions to the ISS.

We'll see...

According to the BBC article this isn't said to be an ISS mission, it could be a free flyer and even depending on the lead time if Axiom's module is on the ISS can that circumvent the NASA astronaut requirement?

Online Athelstane

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #9 on: 10/26/2023 12:53 am »
Tim Peake as CMR would assume that NASA waives their requirement that an experienced NASA astronaut commands visiting private missions to the ISS.

We'll see...

According to the BBC article this isn't said to be an ISS mission, it could be a free flyer and even depending on the lead time if Axiom's module is on the ISS can that circumvent the NASA astronaut requirement?

The press release speaks of a mission of up to two weeks. If it is at the upper end of that range, it is hard to see how it would not be an ISS mission, since Crew Dragon does not have enough life support to sustain a crew of four for that long.

It could just be that negotiations with NASA and partner agencies over this have not reached a point where it is approved for ISS yet, so they chose to bracket that out in this announcement today.

Offline daedalus1

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #10 on: 10/26/2023 06:17 am »
Or a Vast mission.

Offline hektor

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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #12 on: 10/26/2023 11:29 am »
https://twitter.com/bbcbreakfast/status/1717438827692691694

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'If the opportunity comes along I will definitely put my hand up'

Astronaut Tim Peake told #BBCBeakfast he would 'clear his schedule' to be one of four UK astronauts who could head into orbit on an all-British mission

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-67207375

Offline mandrewa

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #13 on: 10/26/2023 12:21 pm »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/10/25/tim-peake-leaves-retirement-lead-uk-astronaut-space-mission/

Tim Peake and another three British astronauts who have not yet been specified will be on the mission, but the names of John McFall, Rosemary Coogan, and Meganne Christian, who have been selected for the ESA astronaut program this year, have been mentioned.

It will be two weeks at the ISS: scientific research; demonstration of technologies; public outreach.

"British universities, research institutions and private companies have been invited to submit ideas for experiments and technology projects that could be carried out on the mission."

The UK Space Agency is organizing and running the mission.

"It is likely the space agency will be relying largely on private investors who are looking to conduct research in microgravity."

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #14 on: 12/06/2023 06:23 pm »
https://twitter.com/tsr/status/1732479777980702881

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The UK government announced this fall an agreement with Axiom Space that could lead to a private mission flown entirely by British astronauts. A former ESA director explains the importance of this milestone.

https://www.thespacereview.com/article/4703/1

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UK astronaut mission shows that private enterprise is vital to the future of space exploration

by Simonetta Di Pippo
Monday, December 4, 2023

The UK Space Agency signed an agreement in October with a US company called Axiom Space to develop a space mission carrying four astronauts from the UK. The flight would most likely use the SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle and travel to the International Space Station (ISS).

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: UK agreement with Axiom for commercial astronaut mission
« Reply #15 on: 02/10/2024 03:25 pm »


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UKSA and SpaceX plan to send UK astronauts to space on a critical mission! EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

The Angry Astronaut
10 Feb 2024

A few days ago, I had the unique opportunity of interviewing an ESA astronaut regarding the UKSA plan to send four British astronauts to orbit with SpaceX and Axiom Space!  But what are the details and why is the UKSA going through this process instead of ESA?
#space #spacex #esa

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