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Hungary to pay $100 million to Axiom for astronaut mission to ISS

Hungary has budgeted $100 million to fly a Hungarian astronaut on a 30 day mission to ISS, arranged as a private mission though the American space company Axiom.

“This is a program which is being carried out with the cooperation of the American company Axiom Space and its extent is $100 million,” said [Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian foreign minister,] of the initiative. “This will end up in a 30-day-long research mission of a Hungarian astronaut with three other astronauts at the end of 2024 or beginning of 2025, depending on what time NASA confirms access to the International Space Station.”

NASA has yet to award missions to Axiom Space beyond its Ax-2 mission scheduled for the spring of 2023, but is evaluating proposals for two private astronaut missions that could include an Axiom Space flight in that timeframe.

It is clear that negotiations for arranging this mission between Axiom, NASA, and Hungary are on-going. Based on Szijjártó’s description, it is possible that the Hungarian astronaut could fly on a dedicated private Axiom mission to ISS, with two other paying passengers and an Axiom commander, or fly as an extra passenger on a normal ISS crew rotation flight. Furthermore, the ’24 or ’25 launch date suggests the vehicle might not be a Dragon capsule. By that time Boeing’s Starliner should be operational, thus giving Axiom and NASA an alternative. That time frame also corresponds to about when Axiom hopes to launch and dock its own module to ISS.

Nor is Hungary the only foreign country that has signed a deal with Axiom for a manned flight. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia have agreements as well.

All told, the biggest obstacle right now to this new market is the number of ports on ISS. It seems Axiom has a strong incentive to get its own module launched and attached to ISS as soon as possible, if only to increase the docking ports available for these flights.

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.

 

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One comment

  • Richard M

    All told, the biggest obstacle right now to this new market is the number of ports on ISS. It seems Axiom has a strong incentive to get its own module launched and attached to ISS as soon as possible, if only to increase the docking ports available for these flights.

    It’s suppposed to attach its first module to ISS by late 2024. Of course, new HSF hardware is the kind of thing where you expect some slippage to the right.

    But if they can pull it off, it would certainly be timely for this.

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