travel into space in 2022

2022, The Year Of Leisure Space Travel?

29 January 2021
Read Time: 2.5 mins

What you need to know:聽

  • Axiom Space announced that they will facilitate the first-ever private crew to take a leisure flight to the International Space Station聽
  • The crew will be led by retired NASA astronaut Commander Michael L贸pez-Alegr铆a, who will be joined by a crew of three
  • The crew are each footing a US$55 million (roughly AU$72 million) ticket to make the trip

Has the recent international travel-drought sent your armchair travel dreams into a spin? Thinking about the places you could travel to where the C word just isn鈥檛 a thing? Somewhere really, really remote, like space perhaps?聽

Well if you鈥檝e ever wondered about space travel, thought about how much it would cost, what you鈥檇 need or how you could do it, then read on. This week some lucky punters' wildest travel pipe dreams were unveiled, with a private crew confirmed to fly to an International Space Station early next year.聽

Houston-based start-up, Axiom Space, announced that they will facilitate the first-ever private crew to fly to the International Space Station (ISS), a mission they are calling Ax-1. The crew will be led by Retired NASA astronaut and Axiom Vice President, Commander Michael L贸pez-Alegr铆a, who has flown to space four times over his 20 year career. Joining him will be mission pilot Larry Connor and mission specialists Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, each of whom are footing US$55 million (roughly AU$72 million) to make the journey.聽

travel into space in 2022 (From left) commander Michael L贸pez-Alegr铆a and other crew members Mark Pathy, Larry Connor and Eytan Stibbe. Credit: Axiom Space

鈥淲e sought to put together a crew for this historic mission that had demonstrated a lifelong commitment to improving the lives of the people on Earth, and I鈥檓 glad to say we鈥檝e done that with this group,鈥 Michael Suffredini, president and chief executive of Axiom Space, said in a statement.

The crew will depart from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a SpaceX Crew Dragon rocket, travelling to the ISS which is expected to take two days. Once there, the crew plan to carry out research and philanthropic projects over eight days, which will see Commander Michael L贸pez-Alegr铆a the first person to ever command a civil and commercial human mission into space, and the first private pilot on an orbital spaceflight.

鈥淣ever has an entire crew been non-professional astronauts,鈥 L贸pez-Alegr铆a said in a statement. 鈥淭his is really groundbreaking, and I think it鈥檚 very important that the mission be successful and safe because we鈥檙e really paving the way for lots of things to happen after us.鈥

travel into space in 2022 The International Space Station. Credit: Axiom Space

You鈥檙e probably thinking 鈥$US55 million seems steep, surely not?鈥 But yes, you read that correctly. A small price to pay for a little philanthropy don鈥檛 you think?聽

Axiom wants to fly 鈥渁 couple of these missions per year,鈥 L贸pez-Alegr铆a added, so good news if you happen to have a few million lying around, because聽 future missions are on deck. Really puts your last trip into the affordable column now doesn鈥檛 it? Us too, so back to booking our next one鈥β


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Jess Holmes

Jess Holmes refers to herself as a walking contradiction, yearning for life's little (or large) luxuries one minute, eat-drink-treking her way through offbeat destinations another.聽 She's just as happy exploring the street(food)s of Oaxaca, putting her body through its paces atop Peruvian mountains, and sunning herself on Sri Lanka's secluded beaches as she is wandering through Napa Valley vineyards, indulging in NYC's best spa treatments or sipping Chianti on the Amalfi Coast.