Axiom Space and SSI-Monaco signed an MOU to Send Monaco Resident to Space
Axiom Space (www.axiomspace.com) and SSI-Monaco (www.ssi-monaco.com) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), agreeing to cooperate toward training one or more citizens or residents of Monaco as professional or private astronauts, and to fly them on an orbital space mission. The flight would make the Principality on the French Riviera the 19th sovereign nation to send an astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS).
“We are thrilled to partner with SSI-Monaco to expand the global presence in low-Earth orbit,” said Axiom Space CEO Michael T. Suffredini. “Axiom’s unique ability to build indigenous astronaut selection and training capability to NASA standards will accelerate the development of Monaco’s plans for human spaceflight and space research. We look forward to Monaco joining the human spaceflight community and substantial progress toward Axiom’s vision of making living and working in space commonplace.”
Once trained according to Axiom procedures, Monaco’s astronaut(s) will be eligible for official assignment to ISS missions. The agreement additionally covers the possibility that the mission will instead fly to Axiom Station. The parties also agreed to study the long-term possibilities of space tourism in Monaco and a potential “Monaco Space Module” to be attached to Axiom Station – the world’s first commercial space station – which is set to be constructed while attached to the ISS and later separate and operate independently.
Dr. Ilhami Aygun, President and CEO, SSI-Monaco, said: “In addition of being an honor for our company, this collaboration is a great step for Monaco to establish further its role in the international space community. Axiom is composed of all the great people who contributed to the success of the ISS missions, and now that the human spaceflights tend towards privately trained astronauts, we are proud to contribute to such prestigious project with the DNA of Monaco.”
The expansion of Monaco’s space activities into the rarefied milieu of human spaceflight is aimed at conducting fruitful experiments and data collection in Earth orbit, and fostering public enthusiasm for space, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Alongside Suffredini, who managed the ISS program at NASA from 2005 to 2015, Houston-based Axiom’s leadership team was collectively involved in every ISS mission from the program’s inception. Under the terms of the MOU, it will define specific mission profiles and assign Monaco’s professional astronaut(s) to the first suitable flight consistent with ISS program structure.
About Axiom Space
Axiom Space is a private company creating the world’s first international commercial space station to host professional government astronauts, tourists, and private entities for research, manufacturing, space exploration systems testing, and advertising. The Axiom team aims to make living and working in Earth orbit commonplace to support sustained human space exploration and improve the quality of life on Earth. For more information, visit www.axiomspace.com and follow Axiom on Twitter @Axiom_Space.
SSI-Monaco (Space Systems International – Monaco S.A.M.) is the satellite operator of Monaco and an integrated satellite telecommunications services provider. It launched its first telecommunication satellite, MonacoSat-1, on 27 April 2015 from Cape Canaveral-USA by the launcher Falcon9 of SpaceX. For more information, visit www.ssi-monaco.com and find SSI-Monaco on Twitter @ssimonaco.