Author Topic: NASA Selects First Commercial Destination Module (Axiom) for ISS  (Read 23445 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Presser:

NASA has selected Axiom Space of Houston to provide at least one habitable commercial module to be attached to the International Space Station as the agency continues to open the station for commercial use.

“NASA has once again recognized the hard work, talent, and experience of Houstonians as we expand the International Space Station and promote commercial opportunities in space,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “I’m proud Axiom will continue to build upon Texas’ legacy of leading the nation in human space exploration.”

This selection is a significant step toward enabling the development of independent commercial destinations that meet NASA’s long-terms needs in low-Earth orbit, beyond the life of the space station, and continue to foster the growth of a robust low-Earth orbit economy.

"Today’s announcement is an exciting and welcome step forward in the efforts to commercialize low-Earth orbit,” said Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “This partnership between NASA and Axiom Space – a Houston, Texas original – illustrates how critically important the International Space Station is, and will continue to be, for developing new technologies for low-Earth orbit and beyond, and for continuing America’s leadership in space. Congratulations to Axiom Space on this exciting award – Houston is known as Space City for a reason, and I look forward to this great Space City company and NASA turning this announcement into reality."

The element will attach to the space station’s Node 2 forward port to demonstrate its ability to provide products and services and begin the transition to a sustainable economy in which NASA is one of many customers. NASA and Axiom next will begin negotiations on the terms and price of a firm-fixed-price contract with a five-year base performance period and a two-year option

“Congratulations to Axiom Space! This is not only a win for Texas, Johnson Space Center, and the International Space Station, it is also a great step forward for NASA as we move towards an increased commercial presence in low-Earth orbit,” said Rep. Brian Babin of Texas. “I am proud to see this work coming to Space City – Houston, Texas – as the Lone Star State continues to lead in space exploration well into the future.”

Developing commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit is one of five elements of NASA’s plan to open the International Space Station to new commercial and marketing opportunities. The other elements of the five-point plan include efforts to make station and crew resources available for commercial use through a new commercial use and pricing policy; enable private astronaut missions to the station; seek out and pursue opportunities to stimulate long-term, sustainable demand for these services; and quantify NASA’s long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.

“Axiom’s work to develop a commercial destination in space is a critical step for NASA to meet its long-term needs for astronaut training, scientific research, and technology demonstrations in low-Earth orbit,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We are transforming the way NASA works with industry to benefit the global economy and advance space exploration. It is a similar partnership that this year will return the capability of American astronauts to launch to the space station on American rockets from American soil.”

NASA selected Axiom from proposals submitted in response to a solicitation through Appendix I of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) 2 Broad Agency Announcement, which offered private industry use of the station utilities and a port to attach one or more commercial elements to the orbiting laboratory.

Because commercial destinations are considered a key element of a robust economy in low-Earth orbit, NASA also plans to issue a final opportunity to partner with the agency in the development of a free-flying, independent commercial destination. Through these combined efforts to develop commercial destinations, NASA is set to meet its long-term needs in low-Earth orbit well beyond the life of the station.

The agency will continue to need low-Earth orbit microgravity research and testing to enable future missions to the Moon and Mars, including the arrival of the first woman and next man on the Moon with the Artemis III mission as part of the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration plans.
« Last Edit: 01/26/2021 01:53 pm by gongora »
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Online gongora

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The existing discussion thread for Axiom Space can be found here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40601.0
« Last Edit: 01/27/2020 07:16 pm by gongora »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Wow, so I assume Axiom beat Bigelow - despite Bigelow already having BEAM on the ISS. The bid evaluations will make interesting reading ...

Offline Tulse

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There doesn't seem to be any basic info on the actual module, such as size, volume, capabilities, or potential launch vehicle.

Offline rockets4life97

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Wow, so I assume Axiom beat Bigelow - despite Bigelow already having BEAM on the ISS. The bid evaluations will make interesting reading ...

From what I remember from previous Axiom discussions, they have said their module would have a port that would allow another element to attach to it. This other port could be used for Bigelow or another company demonstration (Nanoracks, space manufacturing, etc.).

Offline Almurray1958

"The element will attach to the space station’s Node 2 forward port"

Isn't this one of the docking ports for commercial craft?   Node 3 forward has the PMM.   
Could they mean Node 2 nadir?
« Last Edit: 01/27/2020 07:48 pm by Almurray1958 »
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Offline brickmack

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No, its node 2 forward. The PMA/IDA stack on that port would be either relocated to another port (probably on the new module). Assuming the Axiom Core Module's design hasn't changed from the last renders, this will add one IDS port on the end, and 4 radial CBMs for future modules or visiting cargo vehicles

Offline GWH

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Offline whitelancer64

"The element will attach to the space station’s Node 2 forward port"

Isn't this one of the docking ports for commercial craft?   Node 3 forward has the PMM.   
Could they mean Node 2 nadir?

One of NASA's requirements for any new commercial modules is that ISS functionality in terms of docking / berthing ports must remain the same, or better. So if a commercial module is attached on a docking port, then it must also have at least one docking port, so that there will still be at least two crew docking ports available on the ISS.
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Offline Rik ISS-fan

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi
« Last Edit: 01/28/2020 12:52 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline whitelancer64

In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]
*snip image*
Axiom Image:
*snip image*
These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?



The PMA / IDA could be relocated elsewhere on the ISS (or onto the new module), that would mean the ISS would still have 2 (or 3, if the module also has one built in) docking ports.
« Last Edit: 01/27/2020 11:20 pm by whitelancer64 »
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Online yg1968

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Wow, so I assume Axiom beat Bigelow - despite Bigelow already having BEAM on the ISS. The bid evaluations will make interesting reading ...

Bigelow could still win the Free-Flyer proposal under NexStep, Appendix K:

Quote from: NASA
6.  Question [related to the Free-Flyer under Appendix K]:  The stated budget is $561M through 2024 to cover Appendix I & K.  How will that be adjudicated?

Answer:  The funding for Appendix I & K is part of the overall funding for Commercial LEO Development.  The Agency will make a portfolio decision sometime in the future.  The $561M is an estimate of available funds based on the runout of the FY 2020 budget request through 2024, but should not be treated as an absolute constraint.  Offerors should propose what they feel is required to close their business case.

https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/freeflyer
« Last Edit: 01/27/2020 11:38 pm by yg1968 »

Offline russianhalo117

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]
<snip image>
Axiom Image:
<snip image>
These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

1 PMA/IDA could via RVA or EVA be stowed on the Z1 MBM (Manual Berrhing Mechanism). Keep alive power is available via Z1 at the MBM via jumpers as was used during the Z1/PMA-3 launch. That is one way to long term temp stow it.
« Last Edit: 01/28/2020 12:53 am by zubenelgenubi »

Online Chris Bergin

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Online DwightM

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Excellent article Mr. Corbett!  Maybe the Hab module will come with its own ECLSS - and another spare as well.  After reading 'Endurance' by Scott Kelly it seems like another would be a great idea, even after a new one was recently installed.

Offline ncb1397

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Quote
The last large rigid module to be delivered to the US Segment was The Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), which was delivered in February 2011 onboard Shuttle Discovery on STS-133. Since the shuttle has now been retired, the modules that make up the Axiom segment will most likely be launched on conventional rockets, and make their way to the station and then dock either under their own power or via a “space tug”, much like how the Russian’s have delivered module’s to the ISS or their previous station “Mir” in the past.

This is quite different from how the rest of the US Segment was assembled, with module’s launching in the shuttle payload bay, then being carefully taken out of the payload bay and being moved into place by the shuttle’s robotic arm or the space station’s robotic arm.

Is docking to a CBM really an option? I would assume that the modules would fly to a location where the arm can grapple and the arm would move it to the port (essentially the same thing that is done with dragon and cygnus cargo flights just with a bulkier object).
« Last Edit: 01/28/2020 06:46 am by ncb1397 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator

Offline vaporcobra

Quote
The last large rigid module to be delivered to the US Segment was The Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), which was delivered in February 2011 onboard Shuttle Discovery on STS-133. Since the shuttle has now been retired, the modules that make up the Axiom segment will most likely be launched on conventional rockets, and make their way to the station and then dock either under their own power or via a “space tug”, much like how the Russian’s have delivered module’s to the ISS or their previous station “Mir” in the past.

This is quite different from how the rest of the US Segment was assembled, with module’s launching in the shuttle payload bay, then being carefully taken out of the payload bay and being moved into place by the shuttle’s robotic arm or the space station’s robotic arm.

Is docking to a CBM really an option? I would assume that the modules would fly to a location where the arm can grapple and the arm would move it to the port (essentially the same thing that is done with dragon and cygnus cargo flights just with a bulkier object).

Correct, that's actually exactly what Axiom has shown in assembly video they released a while back.

Offline whitelancer64

Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???

In 2028, currently. It may be extended to 2030.

Axiom's modules are designed to be separated at ISS end of life and operate as an independent commercial space station.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???

In 2028, currently. It may be extended to 2030.

Axiom's modules are designed to be separated at ISS end of life and operate as an independent commercial space station.
Thanks, last I recalled reading was 2026, but the longer it stays up the better as the only "real" destination for spacecraft with much still to be learned on orbit...
« Last Edit: 01/28/2020 04:27 pm by Rocket Science »
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Offline ncb1397

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Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???

In 2028, currently. It may be extended to 2030.

Axiom's modules are designed to be separated at ISS end of life and operate as an independent commercial space station.

I believe officially the ISS end date could still be 2024 but it is expected to be extended by some number of years. For instance, the 2017 NASA authorization act says the following:

Quote
    ``(a) Policy of the United States.--It shall be the policy of the
United States, in consultation with its international partners in the
ISS program, to support full and complete utilization of the ISS through
at least 2024.

NASA is simply implementing the NASA authorization act required transition plan.

Quote
ISS Transition Plan.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Coordination.>>  In general.--The
        Administrator, in coordination with the ISS management entity
        (as defined in section 2 of the National Aeronautics and Space
        Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017), ISS
        partners, the scientific user community, and the commercial
        space sector, shall develop a plan to transition in a step-wise
        approach from the current regime that relies heavily on NASA
        sponsorship to a regime where NASA could be one of many
        customers of a low-Earth orbit non-governmental human space
        flight enterprise.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/442/text

The result of that is this space station that NASA will apparently fund at least partially that grows off the ISS and then eventually breaks away taking a MPLM with it.

Offline Rocket Science

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Thanks to you as well. My head keep spinning with all the proposed splash dates and extensions with every new administration. In 10 months we "may" have a new administration, stay tuned I guess...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Nydoc

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Isn't the plan still to splash ISS in a few years? ???

In 2028, currently. It may be extended to 2030.

Axiom's modules are designed to be separated at ISS end of life and operate as an independent commercial space station.

I believe officially the ISS end date could still be 2024 but it is expected to be extended by some number of years.
There was actually a provision in HR 5666 to have the end of life for ISS extended to 2028. However this particular resolution isn't very popular because it undercuts NASA's decision making with regard to lunar landers and it would put restrictions on the use of the Gateway station. Eric Berger is saying there isn't broad support for this resolution right now in Congress. I don't expect this bill to pass through the Senate without major modification. Despite this, extending the end of life for ISS remains popular and I suspect it would be extended to at least 2028.

A very interesting detail I caught which wasn't mentioned in Tobias Corbett's piece: the final render of the detached Axiom Station shows ESA's Columbus Lab Module and JAXA's Kibo module attached to the Axiom station! If this is the plan of action then ISS would live on in Axiom!
« Last Edit: 01/29/2020 06:53 pm by Nydoc »

Offline TrevorMonty

If Axiom extension works out then NASA maybe able to lease room on that and kill off the ISS. Other partners would have to make their own arrangements but most likely follow NASA. Russian would most likely do their own station or partner with China. Alternatively Axiom could do barter deal with Russian ie station use for Soyzu rides and resupply.

For some microgravity manufacturing and experiments an unmanned station without vibration caused by crew would be better. Nanorack's first station is likely to be unmanned for these reasons and would complement Axiom station. Being unmanned makes for lot cheaper station, ideally have it within low DV of manned station so crew can visit for occasional maintenance work.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2020 08:32 pm by TrevorMonty »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
Bigelow Aerospace sets sights on free-flying station after passing on ISS commercial module
by Jeff Foust — January 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The founder of Bigelow Aerospace says his company decided not to pursue a NASA competition for a commercial International Space Station module because of funding concerns, but remains interested in a separate effort for supporting a free-flying facility in low Earth orbit.

https://spacenews.com/bigelow-aerospace-sets-sights-on-free-flying-station-after-passing-on-iss-commercial-module/

Offline topopesto

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi

Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

Offline jbenton

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi

Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

I think the main truss is in the way

Edit: the main truss isn't right over Tranquility, but I think there's a clearance issue with the radiators
« Last Edit: 01/31/2020 02:10 am by jbenton »

Offline russianhalo117

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In my opinion it would be most practical if the new module would replace both a PMA and IDA.
For this to work, the Axiom module should have a passive CBM (Common Berthing Mechanism) on one side, and an IDSS (International Docking System Standard) port on the other side.
The advantage of this, is that the module becomes a full part, with the same accessibility as the other modules of the US part, of the ISS.
But how can the PMA+IDA be disposed off? Possibly this can be done with a Dragon2 cargo resupply return.

During the latest ISS tour the ISS looks overfilled with stowage. On the US side at least three ports have to be made free from stowage. Namely:
- Node 2 Forward for PMA2/IDA2 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 2 Zenith for PMA3/IDA3 accessibility for Crew resupply vehicle or Dragon2 cargo.
- Node 3 Port for Nanoracks Bishop Airlock (SpX-21)
Two further ports need to be free when resupply vehicles visit:
- Node 2 Nadir, std berthing location for Dragon and HTV-(X)
- Node 1 Nadir, std berthing location for Cygnus.
Another possibility with the axiom module having two ports is that it can convert Node1 Nadir from an CBM into an IDSS compliant docking port while also providing additional stowage space.
Time will tell if most US cargo vehicles will convert to using IDSS or remain using CBM.

edit. I looked closer at the images from Axiom. It looks like the modules will have two CBM ports.
to provide a IDSS port they look like using Common Docking Adapter (CDA). [wiki]

Axiom Image is the second attached, not embedded, image file:

These modules look larger than Columbus. I wonder if the US Airlock might need replacement as well?

edit zubenelgenubi

Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

I think the main truss is in the way

Edit: the main truss isn't right over tranquility, but I think there's a clearance issue with the radiators
Dragon-2 series requires the length and design of the PMA/IDA Integrated Assembly in order to dock because of its permanent nosecone.

Offline SWGlassPit

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

There's not a whole lot of pictures out there showing it, but Node 3 Zenith is *not* a functional CBM.  The alignment guides are missing, I'm not sure, but I think the bolts may not be there either.

Instead, there is a beam spanning the berthing ring, to which a PVGF is affixed.

Here's one such picture showing the grapple fixture: [attached image]
« Last Edit: 02/11/2020 08:22 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline MattMason

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Quote
Bigelow Aerospace sets sights on free-flying station after passing on ISS commercial module
by Jeff Foust — January 29, 2020

WASHINGTON — The founder of Bigelow Aerospace says his company decided not to pursue a NASA competition for a commercial International Space Station module because of funding concerns, but remains interested in a separate effort for supporting a free-flying facility in low Earth orbit.

https://spacenews.com/bigelow-aerospace-sets-sights-on-free-flying-station-after-passing-on-iss-commercial-module/

That's a risky move by Bigelow to pass on this. I understand why. But as they already have a tested technology, there's a question whether any other entity would want a standalone station if another one is already in place.
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Offline jak Kennedy

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I have a gut feeling that Bigelow will miss out on any of these projects to the Sierra Nevada Corp inflatable modules.
... the way that we will ratchet up our species, is to take the best and to spread it around everybody, so that everybody grows up with better things. - Steve Jobs

Online BrightLight

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It appears the  award to Axiom is for Task order 1 - which does not directly fund the development of the hardware to be connected to ISS, it is a planning phase, see Appendix I https://www.nasa.gov/nextstep/issport

Here is my abstraction portion of Appendix I
NASA anticipates awarding:
-   multiple single-award Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts from Appendix I with multiple phases executed by Task Orders.
Through task orders, the government intends to purchase data deliverables and insight to support integration of the Commercial Segment into ISS
-   demonstration of commercial capabilities. All awardees will receive
Task Order 1 for concept and business plan development. [NOW FUNDED]
Task Order 2 to begin the early design phase and mature business plans, leading to subsequent task orders and an eventual decision point for prioritization of use of the ISS port.
-   Following [ADDITIONAL TASK ORDERS? – HOW MANY?] a port prioritization decision, the awardee will complete Design, Development, Test, and Evaluation (DDT&E) and deliver the Commercial Element(s) to ISS
 The detailed requirements and additional information on the overall acquisition strategy will be contained in the forthcoming Appendix I solicitation.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2020 04:05 pm by BrightLight »

Offline clongton

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I hope Mr. Bigelow has a plan going forward. He was rich enough to start his company and excited an awful lot of people. But he doesn't have the deep pockets of Elon Musk and even he almost went broke until NASA basically saved SpaceX, something for which Elon will ever be grateful. Mr. Bigelow is now speaking of funding concerns. I'm hopeful that it has to do with things he has going on that really won't allow him taking on another contract in the near term. That's my hope anyway. I would love to see his vision of free flying NGO and other governments stations bearing the Bigelow Aerospace logo come to fruition.
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Offline jbenton

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

There's not a whole lot of pictures out there showing it, but Node 3 Zenith is *not* a functional CBM...

Instead, there is a beam spanning the berthing ring, to which a PVGF is affixed.

...

So they do "use" it, just not as a berthing point. :D
... Well unless they never put the arm there.

I have a gut feeling that Bigelow will miss out on any of these projects to the Sierra Nevada Corp inflatable modules.

Quick question:
I though Bigelow had a patent for inflatable modules - if so, why is SNC allowed to use them? Or am I mistaken?

*My understanding is that NASA developed TransHab, patented it, didn't have the funding to use it, and gave the patent to Bigelow in the hopes that the idea could be put to use.

Offline SWGlassPit

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

There's not a whole lot of pictures out there showing it, but Node 3 Zenith is *not* a functional CBM...

Instead, there is a beam spanning the berthing ring, to which a PVGF is affixed.

...

So they do "use" it, just not as a berthing point. :D
... Well unless they never put the arm there.
As far as I can tell, they've never actually used that fixture.  My understanding is the "video" part of the PVGF is not hooked up, rendering it useless as a base for the SSRMS.  They could park the SPDM there though.  Not much it can do from there.

Quote
I have a gut feeling that Bigelow will miss out on any of these projects to the Sierra Nevada Corp inflatable modules.

Quick question:
I though Bigelow had a patent for inflatable modules - if so, why is SNC allowed to use them? Or am I mistaken?

*My understanding is that NASA developed TransHab, patented it, didn't have the funding to use it, and gave the patent to Bigelow in the hopes that the idea could be put to use.

Here's a list of the patents awarded and applied for that are assigned to Bigelow Aerospace:
https://patents.google.com/?assignee=Bigelow+Aerospace

I see a number that cover specific technical details of inflatables, but nothing covering an inflatable spacecraft as a whole.

Interestingly, it looks like they tried to patent what amounts to Powerball, but in space (but abandoned the application)
« Last Edit: 01/31/2020 06:20 pm by SWGlassPit »

Offline topopesto

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Node 3 zenith port is free; why doesn't NASA use it?

  The alignment guides are missing, I'm not sure, but I think the bolts may not be there either.

You're probalility right,  but we aren't sure.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2020 08:24 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Node 3 (Tranquility) was designed to be mounted at Node 1 nadir. The side where instead of an CBM, an PDGF is located was supposed to be the rear side. That port wouldn't be usable because it's blocked by MRM-1 (rassvet).
Later it was decided to move Node3, so two CBM ports (N1 & N2 nadir) are available for US cargo resupply. Now indeed the PDGF is used to stow SPDM. Afaik the PDGF provides power to SPDM survivability.

Offline topopesto

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Node 3 (Tranquility) was designed to be mounted at Node 1 nadir. The side where instead of an CBM, an PDGF is located was supposed to be the rear side. That port wouldn't be usable because it's blocked by MRM-1 (rassvet).
Later it was decided to move Node3, so two CBM ports (N1 & N2 nadir) are available for US cargo resupply. Now indeed the PDGF is used to stow SPDM. Afaik the PDGF provides power to SPDM survivability.

Ok, thank for the news.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1580556289129689088

Quote
Axiom Space’s Mary Lynne Dittmar says at a Beyond Earth symposium this morning that the first Axiom module launch is now scheduled for late 2025. (It had been late 2024.) Will be followed in 6-8 months by a second module, a clone of the first.

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-DaviD-

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://flic.kr/p/2oz8PTE

Quote
KSC-20230425-PH-JBS01_0049
The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), used during the Space Shuttle Program to transfer cargo to and from the International Space Station, is loaded into NASA's Super Guppy aircraft at the Launch and Landing Facility runway at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 25, 2023. The MPLM will be transported to Ellington Field in Houston, where it will then be transported by road to Axiom’s facility near Ellington to be utilized to further commercialization of space. Three MPLMs were built by Thales Alenia Space Italia (TASI) for the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and named after Italian masters (Leonardo, Raffaello, and Donatello). Only two ever flew to the space station, Leonardo and Raffaello, with Axiom intending to use the Raffaello module as a future element that will attach to a segment being built by the company for addition to the station. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1734962961498640634

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Axiom president Matt Ondler said the first commercial module it is developing for the ISS (as the basis for a later standalone station) is now scheduled for launch near the end of 2026. That's about a year later than previously stated.

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« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 06:47 am by john57sharp »

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