VIRGIN GALACTIC & AXIOM SPACE PARTNER FOR HUMAN-TENDED MICROGRAVITY RESEARCH

Credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), an aerospace and space travel company, announced on November 3rd, 2022 an agreement with Axiom Space, a U.S.-based commercial space company, to support a microgravity research and training mission. The Virgin Galactic spaceflight, tentatively scheduled for next year, will prepare an Axiom Space astronaut for an upcoming trip to orbit, while conducting microgravity research to supplement the work that astronaut will do on the International Space Station.

Virgin Galactic has a deep commitment to providing opportunities for research and scientific exploration in a suborbital space environment. Its pilot-controlled parabolic trajectory from a horizontal launch configuration can be adjusted to the specific needs of the payloads on board, making Virgin Galactic uniquely suited to fly both autonomous and human-tended experiments. The Company has flown research experiments on all previous spaceflights and is reserving 10 percent of its first 1,000 seats for science and technology research missions.

“Our spaceflight system offers a unique opportunity for research, and we’ve seen interest from a range of scientific and technology domains spanning from heliophysics to biological and physical life sciences,” said Virgin Galactic Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations Sirisha Bandla. “We are excited to work with Axiom Space as we continue to expand the ecosystem for microgravity research and build a pipeline for Virgin Galactic missions to support orbital space travel. Our commitment to research deepens our connection to planet Earth, enabling humanity to broaden our understanding of Earth and our place on it.”

Axiom Space is the commercial space industry’s only full-service orbital mission provider to the International Space Station, conducting full-service, end-to-end crewed missions for private astronauts, including both private individuals and those representing foreign governments. Axiom Space is expanding the international community of space explorers, helping to build human spaceflight programs, while building a permanent commercial space station in low-Earth’s orbit. Axiom Space has several partnerships with sovereign nations to expand their space capabilities including Turkey, Italy, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates.

“Our shared vision with Virgin Galactic to further enable human space exploration, increase scientific discovery and expand the international space explorer footprint makes this a great partnership,” said Axiom Space Chief Astronaut, Michael López-Alegría. “Virgin Galactic’s platform offers an incredible resource for future Axiom astronauts as they prepare for longer duration missions.”

About Virgin Galactic Holdings

Virgin Galactic is an aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles. It is developing a spaceflight system designed to connect the world to the wonder and awe created by space travel and to offer customers a transformative experience.

About Axiom Space

Axiom Space is guided by the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human everywhere. The leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure, Axiom operates end-to-end missions to the International Space Station today while privately building its successor, Axiom Station, the first permanent commercial destination in Earth's orbit that will sustain human growth off the planet and bring untold benefits back home.

Source: Virgin Galactic

Kris Christiaens's Avatar

Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.