As soon as the International Space Station retires, Axiom Space plans to use its spare parts.
What will happen to the ISS when she resigns? The contract for her work concluded until 2024. One private company has a plan for using old pieces to build a new station.
This was stated by the director of Axiom Space and the former manager of NASA on the ISS, Mike Sufferdini. The company has an ambitious idea: to launch a module to the ISS in 2020 and fix it there until the station ends. Depending on the desires of the partners, they may grab parts of the ISS when detaching.
Amir Blashman, vice-president of technical development company, says that they can be used to create a storage module, Canadarm (a robotic arm for work in open space) and even a dome (360 degree window for viewing the Earth). “This is an interesting technology,” he says.
But he stressed that for now this is just talk. The company is now focused on launching its module on time. If everything goes according to plan, then it will be designed for 7 cosmonauts and will be completely self-sufficient, including sleeping rooms and life support systems. He could attach to the second node of the Node module (Harmony), of course, if this does not interfere with the station.
Now more in-depth studies are being conducted on this issue. The module will be delivered on one of the regular rockets, and it will have an advantage over most of the modules of the ISS: most of the equipment is located inside the shell, allowing you not to go into outer space. It also has more miniature computers that perform tasks faster, as this is a completely new model. “As a private company, we can afford other things. For example, to take tourists or do advertising, ”said Blashman. In the near future, the company is focused on training cosmonauts from other countries (those that pay), as well as launching 3-D production in partnership with Made In Space.
The company received funding of $ 3 million from Kem Gaffarian, executive director of Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT). They train NASA astronauts and prepare expeditions to the ISS.
Axiom is set to close Series A early this year. Blashman added that they are also determined to conquer the solar system.
“We are talking about the commercialization and industrialization of a low earth orbit,” he said. The first step is to produce materials there, the second is to install a module on the Moon to test the life support system for deep exploration of space. The company seeks to follow the wishes of the client. And if they pay for the flight to Mars, they will get there.