With the acceleration of technology and space studies, there has been another first in the recent days. Axiom Space, which is not affiliated with a public space agency such as NASA, ESA, ROSCOSMOS, successfully completed its first mission, AX-1, to the International Space Station with its 4 astronauts.

AX-1 Mission & Its Importance

Who were on this mission?

Mission Commander Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut, also serves as vice president of Axiom Space. Larry Connor, who is on duty as a pilot, is both an entrepreneur and an activist from Ohio. In this mission, Connor both dived into the ocean in the same year and went to the Space Station afterwards. Eytan Stibbe, one of the mission specialists, previously served as a pilot in the Israeli air force and his expenses going into space were covered by the Israel Space Agency. Stibbe also become the second Israeli astronaut to go to space and the first Israeli astronaut to visit the International Space Station. Another Mission Specialist, Mark Pathy, is the CEO of MAVRIK Corporation.

So, what was this mission for?

The main purpose of the mission was for a private company to perform a mission to the space station using the launch facilities of another private company called SpaceX. The work on the space station was also continued with some particular experiments carried out during the mission. The purpose of this mission actually escalates us to a very different level.

Why is the mission so important?

Although the mission seems like just 4 astronauts going to space, it actually shows us that a new era has begun for the International Space Station. In this case, companies will be able to train their own astronauts under the supervision of agencies such as NASA or ROSCOSMOS, and after the necessary fee is paid, the International Space Station will become an experimental center for all people. All these can be done without the need for a country, contribution or membership. For example, after making the necessary investments, a company from Turkey will be able train their astronauts and send them to the International Space Station, with the help of space agencies. In addition, first-hand results can be obtained for experiments that can only be done in space, regardless of the state or an agency.

So, what kind of training was given to these astronauts?

The astronauts on the AX-1 mission underwent 700 to 1000 hours of training over 10 months for safety, health, space station systems, and launch processes before launch. In fact, NASA has even upgraded its training standards in this process by updating its training procedures for the AX-1 mission. Since space is both a beautiful and a very risky environment, spending even 1 minute on the space station requires astronauts to take these trainings.

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