On October 1, 2023, an exciting chapter in space exploration began when the European Space Agency (ESA) and Axiom Space sealed a memorandum of understanding in Paris. The alliance charts a path that will take humanity beyond Earth’s borders, enabling a promising future based on collaboration in human spaceflight, science, technology and commercialization.
MOU addresses Various key areas of cooperation It explains the vision of a shared future:
– Expanded cooperation: ESA and Axiom Space are committed to science and technology development, exploring opportunities in missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and exploring activities in low Earth orbit after the ISS.
– Space missions: Axiom Space becomes an important partner to meet ESA’s objectives in terms of space missions, including facilitating missions sponsored by ESA Member States. The first commercial space mission sponsored by ESA, called Axiom Mission 3, will make its journey to the ISS in January 2024. Marcus Wandt, an ESA astronaut from Sweden, will join the crew led by Axiom Space Chief Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria.
– Innovation in Space Suits: European companies will collaborate on the development of the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit spacesuits and contribute to their training, operation and maintenance.
– Investigation and Development: Research projects are planned in future missions, leveraging European know-how in robotics, artificial intelligence, health and life sciences.
– Access to Axiom Station: The agreement opens the door for European missions to access the Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station. It will promote continued opportunities for human spaceflight, research, commercial business development and engagement of European service providers.
MoU effective immediately, covering an initial period of three years, There is a possibility of extension based on mutual agreement. Both companies have high hopes for this collaboration, which will not only spur advancements in space exploration and discovery, but also foster a spirit of international cooperation and innovation in the global space community.
Michael Saffredini, CEO of Axiom Space, expressed his excitement about the collaboration, describingA new era in international space cooperation» It will promote scientific innovation and expand access to space.
For his part, ESA’s Director General Joseph Aschbacher said the alliance represents a step forward in Europe’s efforts in space, creating new opportunities in scientific and technological advances and improving the commercial space environment.