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SpaceX To Launch First Turkish Astronaut Aboard Private European Space Mission

via NASA
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A SpaceX rocket is set to launch a mission to the International Space Station, carrying a group of European astronauts, including the first person from Turkey to visit outer space.

This private sector mission, supported by NASA, reflects efforts to increase commercial activity in Earth’s orbit as NASA plans to retire the ISS, allowing private space stations to take over.

Axiom-3, organized by Axiom Space, is the first mission where all seats were purchased by governments or space agencies.

“I’d like to underline how remarkably well-prepared they are based on their backgrounds as military aviators with many, many years of operational experience,” former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría said.

“Very similar to some of the crews that I was able to train with when I was a NASA astronaut.”

Axiom aims to offer space station flights to those who can afford tickets, and this mission includes research and experiments during the crew’s 14-day stay on the station.

The mission aligns with NASA’s push for private industry investment in space travel and the development of commercial space stations to replace the aging ISS.

“This is also for the European Space Agency a first step to see how we can move to the post-ISS era,” ESA’s Frank De Winne said. “The ISS will come to an end at some point.”

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