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NASA veteran plans commercial space station

Image: Space station
Artwork shows a potential commercial space station. (Credit: Axiom Space via YouTube)

Former space station manager Mike Suffredini says he’s working on a plan to send up a commercial space module that could be attached to the International Space Station – and then disattached to become the foundation for a private-sector outpost in orbit.

“We intend to work on a low-Earth-orbit platform to follow the International Space Station,” Suffredini said today at the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2016 conference in Seattle.

Representatives of the new venture, called Axiom Space, are in contact with NASA about the idea, but Suffredini stressed that he’s staying at arm’s length to comply with the space agency’s conflict-of-interest requirements.

Suffredini left NASA last September and is now Axiom’s president as well as the president ofStinger Ghaffarian Technologies‘ commercial space division. Axiom is currently structured as an SGT subsidiary, with SGT co-founder Kam Ghaffarian serving as Axiom’s CEO, Suffredini said.

Axiom already has seed funding, Suffredini said. If NASA gives the go-ahead, the venture would raise additional money from investors to finance the construction of the module and get it launched to the station in the 2020-2021 time frame.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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