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Axiom Space: commercial ISS module

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DocM    16,853
Posted (edited)

Already selected by NASA, Axiom Space will start off attaching a commercial module to ISS for commercial astronauts and researchers. Later it will detach and form the basis of a larger free-flying commercial space station.

 

 SpaceX's Crew Dragon will provide early  transportation. Other crew vehicles could be added as they prove themselves.

 

Concept (white/black modules on right)

956570087_AXIOMISSmodule.thumb.jpg.f13a27bd22e59854d3080cac57d2f076.jpg

 

https://www.axiomspace.com/post/axiom-space-plans-first-ever-fully-private-human-spaceflight-mission-to-international-space-station

 

Quote

Axiom Space plans first-ever fully private human spaceflight mission to International Space Station

 

HOUSTON – Today Axiom Space announced it is planning history’s first fully private human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station.

Axiom has signed a contract with SpaceX for a Crew Dragon flight which will transport a commander professionally trained by Axiom alongside three private astronauts to and from the International Space Station. The mission, set to launch as soon as the second half of 2021, will allow the crew to live aboard the ISS and experience at least eight days of microgravity and views of Earth that can only be fully appreciated in the large, venerable station.

“This history-making flight will represent a watershed moment in the march toward universal and routine access to space,” Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said. “This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space – a first for a commercial entity. Procuring the transportation marks significant progress toward that goal, and we’re glad to be working with SpaceX in this effort.”

This is the first of Axiom’s proposed “precursor missions” to the ISS envisioned under its Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA. Discussions with NASA are underway to establish additional enabling agreements for the private astronaut missions to ISS.

Axiom plans to offer professional and private astronaut flights to ISS at a rate of up to two per year to align with flight opportunities as they are made available by NASA, while simultaneously constructing its own privately funded space station.

“Since 2012, SpaceX has been delivering cargo to the International Space Station in partnership with NASA and later this year, we will fly NASA astronauts for the first time,” said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell. “Now, thanks to Axiom and their support from NASA, privately crewed missions will have unprecedented access to the space station, furthering the commercialization of space and helping usher in a new era of human exploration.”

With its team’s vast experience in human spaceflight, Axiom serves as a one-stop shop overseeing all elements of its missions. In addition to contracting with SpaceX for a Crew Dragon vehicle to transport its crew to the ISS, Axiom’s turnkey service for the mission – two days in transit and at least eight days aboard the ISS – includes training, mission planning, hardware development, life support, medical support, crew provisions, hardware and safety certifications, on-orbit operations and overall mission management.

NASA recently selected Axiom’s proposal to attach its space station modules to the ISS beginning in the second half of 2024, ultimately creating a new ‘Axiom Segment’ which will expand the station’s usable and habitable volume. When the ISS reaches its retirement date, the Axiom complex will detach and operate as a free-flying commercial space station.

By serving the market for immediate access to space while building the future platform for a global user base, Axiom is leading the development and settlement of low Earth orbit now and into the future.
>

 

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DocM    16,853

 

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DocM    16,853

Axion Space CEO Mike Suffredini (former NASA ISS lead);

 

1) Axiom's first launch to ISS will use SpaceX's Crew Dragon

 

2) they'll announce the 3 passengers in few weeks

 

3) NET date is October 2021

 

No word yet on who'll pilot the mission. It'd be kick-ass if it were astronaut Garrett Reisman, who led SpaceX's Commercial Crew program before becoming a SpaceX consultant & professor at USC's Viterbi School of Engineering.

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anthdci    235

What is to be used to put the modules up there? They look too big for the falcon fairings.

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DocM    16,853
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, anthdci said:

What is to be used to put the modules up there? They look too big for the falcon fairings.

 

Falcon Heavy is getting a huge new fairing for National Security Space Launch (NSSL), on the order of 5.4x18.6 meters. LC-39A is also getting a mobile vertical integration tower.

 

RAhJd5tRTgn9VthxQQXKbg-650-80.jpg

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anthdci    235
43 minutes ago, DocM said:

 

Falcon Heavy is getting a huge new fairing for National Security Space Launch (NSSL), on the order of 5.4x18.6 meters. LC-39A is also getting a mobile vertical integration tower.

 

RAhJd5tRTgn9VthxQQXKbg-650-80.jpg

wouldn't that not require an upgrade to the single merlin second stage engine for that extra weight?

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Emn1ty    4,339
Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, anthdci said:

wouldn't that not require an upgrade to the single merlin second stage engine for that extra weight?

Iirc it's not a matter of weight, but size. It can lift the weight fine. They are some payloads that are very large but within the weight limits.

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DocM    16,853
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, anthdci said:

wouldn't that not require an upgrade to the single merlin second stage engine for that extra weight?

 

Falcon's upper stage is already a monster, 

 

Atlas V's Centaur engine, RL-10, puts out 24,800 lbf.  The Dual-Engine Centaur puts out 49,600 kbf.

 

One M1DVac engine puts out 210,000 lbf of thrust, 225,000+ if you use up the margins.

 

For FH this means it can send the mass of a Boeing 737; fully loaded, fuelled, crewed, luggage, and the PAX, to LEO.

 

Adding more thrust would mean the need for even deeper throttling (M1DVac can do 38%). That or the payload would experience G's beyond its tolerance.

Edited by DocM

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anthdci    235
16 hours ago, DocM said:

 

Falcon's upper stage is already a monster, 

 

Atlas V's Centaur engine, RL-10, puts out 24,800 lbf.  The Dual-Engine Centaur puts out 49,600 kbf.

 

One M1DVac engine puts out 210,000 lbf of thrust, 225,000+ if you use up the margins.

 

For FH this means it can send the mass of a Boeing 737; fully loaded, fuelled, crewed, luggage, and the PAX, to LEO.

 

Adding more thrust would mean the need for even deeper throttling (M1DVac can do 38%). That or the payload would experience G's beyond its tolerance.

exchange my lack of knowledge then. Scott Manley recently did a video about why people use rockets other than the falcon9 and one of the reasons was to do with the second stage not being able to raise the orbit as high as other hydrogen powered second stages? I am sure I am missing something.

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DocM    16,853
Posted (edited)

Hydrogen upper stages have a greater specific impulse, efficiency, but it comes at a high cost; expensive metallurgy and coatings to reduce hydrogen embrittlement of the tanks, plumbing, and engine. Hydrogen atoms penetrate the metal, weakening it.

 

No embrittlement problem using  rocket grade kerosene (RP-1) - it has a higher bulk density, meaning smaller tanks (lower dry mass). Weakness: Falcon 9 upper stage life due to the RP-1 gelling in the cold and battery life.

 

In the end, a hydrogen upper stage ends up better than Falcon 9 using an RP-1 upper stage for very high energy launches, but even then Falcon Heavy beats hydrogen  on cost by using brute force and recent techs which extend upper stage life; bigger batteries (thank you Tesla) and fuel warming.  

 

Starship hits the happy middle by using methane. 

Edited by DocM
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