Axiom Space Mission Prepares For Takeoff Amid Russia-Ukraine War
With the upcoming launch of the Axiom Space AX-1 to the International Space Station on March 30th, the AX-1 crew are completing their final preparations for takeoff to the International Space Station. The Axiom Space AX-1 crew will travel to the ISS in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule where four first-time astronauts will spend eight days on the ISS carrying out experiments.
The mission, the first out of four private-chartered missions for Axiom in the works, comes as the Russia-Ukraine conflict is escalating. There are currently both Western and Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS and many wonder whether there may be rising tensions due to these horrific current events.
Recently, Elon Musk took to Twitter to let Russia know that SpaceX is prepared to maintain operations on the ISS after the head of Russia’s space agency threatened to withdraw its support from the joint effort and indicated that the ISS could potentially de-orbit and crash into the US or Europe.
I mean, whaaaaaaaaaaaaa??????
I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tejpaul Bhatia, who leads revenue generation and monetization strategy for the commercial development of space as Chief Revenue Officer at Axiom Space. We talk about the history of the ISS, what the station has given humankind, and why it is a symbol of global collaboration. When I asked Bhatia what he thinks the most beautiful aspect of space exploration is, he replied without hesitation. “It is the one place in our world where there are no borders, no dividing lines…and where there is always hope.”
There are currently seven people on board the ISS- four Americans, one German, and two Russians. Kathy Lueders, the top NASA official on human spaceflight, said on Monday that the “teams are still talking together, we’re still doing training together, we’re still working together.”
Here’s to hoping that a resolution to this nightmare transpires swiftly. Perhaps watching companies like Axiom work on global efforts that benefit the world will help us remember that there really are no perimeters that say “you are different than us.” At the end of the day, no matter where you’re from or what you believe in, we know deep inside that cooperation, collaboration, and empathy are necessities in order for us to survive our existing state of complete disorder.