SpaceX signs bulk deal for three private Crew Dragon missions

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is seen docked to the ISS in April, 2021 after a port relocation manuever with its crew of four Crew-1 astronauts on board. | NASA/JSC

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule will launch three more private astronaut missions tentatively through 2023 under a bulk deal signed this week with mission manager Axiom Space, the companies announced on Wednesday. Though specific terms weren’t disclosed, it marks one of the biggest deals yet in the burgeoning private spaceflight industry and makes for a busy ISS schedule for the next few years.

The three missions, paced roughly six months apart, will come after Axiom’s first ride on Crew Dragon in January next year flying an “all-civilian” crew to the International Space Station for eight days. Ax-2, the second mission, will be led by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. Crews for Ax-3 and 4 haven’t been announced yet. All flights will…

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