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First-Ever Commercial Space Station To Launch In 2020

First Posted: Jun 06, 2017 04:54 AM EDT

The first-ever commercial space station will be launched into orbit by 2020, according to Houston-based company Axiom Space. The company intends to use the station as a private research base and tourist destination before it will become a manufacturing hub.

Amir Blachman, Axiom Space's vice president of strategic development, told Space.com that they expect by the 2027 time frame, manufacturing will overtake all the other revenue combined. He further said that they like to see astronaut uniforms look like NASCAR uniforms or modules that have companies' names on them.

Axiom has just existed for 16 months. Axiom's president and CEO is Michael Suffredini. He also managed the NASA's International Space Station (ISS) program for a decade. Meanwhile, the chairman of Axiom Space is Kam Ghaffarian, the president and CEO of SGT Inc., a NASA contractor that manages the ISS and trains American astronauts.

One of the goals of Axiom Space is to launch space tourists on 10-day missions to the ISS in 2019. Blachman said that tourist flights will cost tens of millions of dollars per seat. Training for this will begin this year.

The Daily Caller noted that Axiom is planning to set up the first sections of its space base at the ISS. This project could be completed by 2024 and costs about $1.5 billion. The first commercial space station will have 3D printers that could build many small satellites.

Blachman said that they envision printing hundreds of jet turbines and super-specialized alloys and down-massing them in quantity probably by 2026, 2027 and 2028. Axiom is collaborating with Made In Space, the California-based company that built both 3D printers aboard the ISS.

Andrew Rush, the Made In Space CEO, said that what they are doing are very, very synergistic. "We've agreed to try and use each other's services as much as possible."

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