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SpaceX private Ax-1 mission's science includes self-assembling robots and light-powered air filters

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

Axiom Space's first mission plans a hefty science agenda during eight days on the International Space Station.

Houston company Axiom Space has a huge science haul planned for its debut mission, including robots and filters that could assist with future space exploration at the moon or Mars.

Axiom plans to launch Ax-1, the first all-private crewed mission to the International Space Station, on April 8 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon. Four people, including three paying customers, will spend 10 days in space, including eight aboard the orbiting complex, but officials have emphasized this will not be a space tourism jaunt.

"This crew has been really dedicated to research," Christian Maender, Axiom's director of in-space manufacturing and research, said during a livestreamed press conference held on Feb. 28. Axiom-1's science includes 25 research experiments developed for microgravity and up to a dozen pre- and post-flight experiments, he noted.

"This collection of life science and tech demos," Maender added, "is a very deep breadth of research that's going to inform everything from human health considerations both in space and on the ground, and the knowledge, infrastructures and design for future homes away from Earth."

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