In early 2022, SpaceX will restart its Crew Dragon capsule on its first private commercial flight with four civilians on board. The event draws closer as the race with Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ company, sets the pace. But SpaceX’s order book has already registered three new flights six months apart until 2023.
These new flights to the International Space Station are planned with SpaceX’s partner space company Axiom Space. You will attract wealthy customers or randomly selected individuals when customers choose to give way to others. Each mission lasts a week in low Earth orbit (400 kilometers altitude for a speed of 28,000 km / h).
SpaceX has announced that the second scheduled mission will be called Ax-2, and former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will assist civilians on their first space flight. The crews will remain inside the ISS like real astronauts (same squad as Thomas Pesquet at present).
Is the ISS ready?
The schedule already consists of four missions within two years and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell commented that “the new era of manned space travel has arrived,” adding that “the growing partnership between Axiom and SpaceX creates more opportunities for more people in the world World will offer “. Space on the way to make humanity multiplanetar “.
However, we still have to wait for final approval from the US space agency (NASA), which manages SpaceX’s flight plan to the International Space Station. With two flights per year and only two ports of call on the satellite, the slots have to be found (even if the stays there last less than a week).
Parallel to the SpaceX and its competitor Blue Origin project, other companies are preparing for the private space industry. Virgin Galactic has returned to the top thanks to the success of its most recent test flight. It looks completely different if it is not a rocket, but a jet aircraft that transports passengers to an altitude of 88 kilometers.
Virgin Galactic, on the other hand, has a much larger order book. 600 customers are currently waiting to make their dream come true. Price per seat: $ 200,000 per reservation.