Axiom makes deal with SpaceX for trip to orbit

Dragon docking
An artist’s conception shows SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space taxi docking with the International Space Station. (SpaceX / NASA Illustration)

Axiom Space says it’s signed a contract with SpaceX to fly three paying passengers and an Axiom-trained commander to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon spaceship as soon as the second half of next year.

If Axiom Space, SpaceX and NASA can stick to the schedule, that would qualify the 10-day trip as the first honest-to-goodness privately funded mission to the space station. Paying passengers have been traveling to the space station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft since 2001, but those missions piggybacked on regular crew-rotation flights.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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