Meet the Private Company Who Wants to Launch a New Space Station by 2020
The International Space Station (ISS) is the home of scientific experiments in space. For the longest time, the ISS managed to produce vital scientific observations that helped shape man's understanding of the universe. However, the space station is about to retire in 2024. Aside from China, there's another company who plans to launch a space station by 2020.
A company called Axiom Space want to launch the next space station. Axiom Space allegedly plans to use materials the space station harvested from the atmosphere to help create the new space lab.
Axiom Space is collaborating with Made in Space to make their dream happen. Made in Space claims that they can manufacture 3D prints in space. The company aims to build a privately owned and non-sovereign space station, according to Inverse.
If this becomes successful, Axiom's space station will be the first private space lab to be launched that will be accessible to the global and international scientific community. The new space station that Axiom wants to launch in 2020 is dubbed as a "historic shift" in spaceflight industry.
"We are now deep into conversations with our first nonsovereign astronaut customers," Amir Blachman, vice president of strategic development of Axiom Space, said in an interview with Space.com.
Aside from working with Made in Space, the company is also reportedly talking to more than 20 nations about the project. The new space station will host both private companies and government agencies, whose goals are to perform space explorations and research, testing and the potential rise of space tourism.
Reports say that the plan is already moving and that this year would be a hectic year for Axiom Space. "The pace is quick," Blachman said in the same interview. "We're answering a demand that's clearly there ... The demand is there; the need is there."
Despite the plan to launch a private space station, NASA officials are hoping for a mission extension for the International Space Station (ISS), according to a report. According to news reports, NASA also approved Axiom's plan and is expected a module to attach to the ISS by 2020.