Variety

SpaceX to send three astronauts to the International Space Station by 2021

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 06, 2020 Published on March 06, 2020

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifts off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center as viewed in Vero Beach, Florida, US. (FILE PHOTO)   -  Reuters

SpaceX, in yet another major announcement concerning space tourism for private citizens, has partnered with Houston-based startup Axiom Space for a fully private 10-day trip to the International Space Station sometime in late 2021.

Elon-musk led space company will use its Falcon 9 rocket and the new Crew Dragon spacecraft, the company announced on Thursday.

The logistics for this ‘space vacation’ will be managed by Axiom.

“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,” Axiom said in an official statement.

“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,” it further said.

This is SpaceX’s second agreement with a private company to enable space tourism for private citizens.

SpaceX, in February, has announced its partnership with private spaceflight company Space Adventures to send civilians to space.

As per the agreement, the company will enable a space trip two to three times farther than the International Space Station into the Earth’s orbit as per the official release by private spaceflight company Space Adventures. So far, the company has enabled spaceflights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russia’s Soyuz rocket and spacecraft for seven private astronauts.

SpaceX had built the Crew Dragon spaceship in agreement with NASA. Elon Musk's brain-child had entered into the venture after receiving $2.6 billion from NASA in 2014 for the development of Crew Dragon, according to a CNN report.

Published on March 06, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.