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Axiom leases former Fry’s retail building housing fullscale mock-up of ISS

Capitalism in space: The private commercial space station company Axiom has leased a former Fry’s retail building that also happens to house the only fullscale mock-up of ISS anywhere.

Axiom Space, which has a contract with NASA to test components of its planned Axiom Station at the International Space Station, has leased the former location of Fry’s Electronics in Webster, Texas to house its engineering operations. The former big-box retail store, which closed when the national chain went out of business in 2021, is unique for its football-field-long representation of the ISS.

…Contained within a building that itself was shaped to resemble oversized space station modules, the former Fry’s ISS includes most of the real complex’s major components. The mockup features the U.S. Destiny laboratory, Quest airlock and Cupola; Russia’s Zvezda service module and Zarya functional cargo block (FGB); Japan’s Kibo laboratory; and the European Space Agency Columbus module.

The space station installation also has a replica of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, two models of NASA’s never-realized X-38 emergency crew return vehicle and astronauts (mannequins) in replica spacesuits. Additional oversized modules previously served as product demonstration rooms and an in-store cafe, while most of the station sat among and above aisles of computers and other devices.

Most of the mock-up hangs overhead, out of the way. In reconfiguring the building for its own use, Axiom intends to leave these mock-up units untouched. Engineers will do design work and module development of Axiom’s own station below.

Axiom’s occupation of this building is only temporary. Once its larger facility is completed in the next few years in the industrial park dubbed Houston Spaceport it will shift all operations there.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • Jeff Wright

    Dead Malls are perfect for such things. Bridge sets for Trek and other sci-fi can remain in place as laser tag-server farms to keep profitable despite light foot traffic…and made a museum to avoid property tax.

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