Space operations provider Saber Astronautics has signed a deal with international spaceflight leader Axiom Space to create an Australian presence on the International Space Station (ISS) and future Axiom Station.

The Saber Astronautics Australian Astronaut Program – the first formal program of its kind to enable Australian industry to access the ISS – will enable industry to access to the Station’s orbiting microgravity laboratory for product experiments, research and development.

The program aims for direct industrial involvement to develop a new generation of space-developed products for industries such as human health, materials and clean technology by utilising the Station’s unique near 100% sterile environment with zero gravity and easy access to cooling.

In addition, the program will involve flights using people selected from the Australian public, opening further benefits for broader use by both the space and conventional industries.

The announcement of the program follows NASA selecting Axiom to add a series of its privately developed modules to the ISS beginning in late 2024. The modules are planned to detach from the ISS and become a free-flying, next-generation station at a later date.

Axiom successfully launched and returned their first private astronaut mission AX-1 to the ISS in April 2022 and are planning future missions beyond 2026.

Saber Astronautics currently own and operate the Responsive Space Operations Centre (RSOC), located within Lot Fourteen.

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