NASA starts accepting applications for new private missions to the ISS

NASA has announced the acceptance of applications for the organization of two private missions to the ISS. Their implementation is planned for 2023-2024.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, which delivered participants of the first Ax-1 commercial mission to the ISS. Source: NASA

As part of its new strategy to gradually attract private companies to space exploration, NASA has given the go-ahead for the annual launch of two commercial missions to the ISS. This should help the industry gain the necessary experience that will allow the creation of private orbital stations in the future.

The first ever private mission to the ISS was organized by Axiom Space. It visited the orbital outpost in the spring of 2022. Its participants spent 15 days on board the station, after which they successfully returned to Earth. The second private mission, which is also organized by Axiom Space, will go to the ISS in the second quarter of 2023.

It is known that last year Axiom Space applied for the organization of a third private mission to the ISS (Shuttle IO also participated in the selection). But NASA rejected both proposals, justifying their lack of technical elaboration.

Now the organization has resumed accepting applications again. A mandatory requirement for them is that a private expedition is commanded by a former NASA astronaut. The duration of stay on board the ISS is limited to two weeks. At the same time, NASA is not yet ready to consider applications for private astronauts to go into outer space.

Applications will be accepted until October 27 this year. The third private mission will have to go to the ISS between the end of 2023 and the first half of 2024, the fourth — at the end of 2024.

According to

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