Axioms AX-1 mission will launch former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and three paying customers to the station in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule next year.
Houston-based Axiom Space, Inc., which is developing the world’s first commercial space station, has raised $130m in Series B funding. The round was led by C5 Capital and includes TQS Advisors, Declaration Partners, Moelis Dynasty Investments, Washington University in St. Louis, The Venture Collective, Aidenlair Capital, Hemisphere Ventures, and Starbridge Venture Capital.
The new financing will accelerate the growth of Axiom’s workforce and construction of its privately developed space station. Axiom will establish a campus at Spaceport Houston, also known as Ellington Airport.
C5 operating partner Rob Meyerson, who will join the Axiom Board of Directors, said: “Axiom Space is a force in the space sector, and it will become a centrepiece of the C5 Capital portfolio and enhance our vision for a secure global future. The Axiom station will be the infrastructure upon which we will build many new businesses in space, and it will serve as the foundation for future exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.”
In January 2020, NASA selected Axiom to begin attaching its own space station modules to the International Space Station (ISS) as early as 2024, marking the company as a primary driver of NASA’s broad strategy to commercialise LEO. By late 2028, Axiom Station will be ready to detach when the ISS is decommissioned and operate independently as its privately owned successor.
In January 2021, Axiom also the commercial space industry’s full-service ISS mission provider revealed its historic first private astronaut crew. Called AX-1, the mission expects to launch as early as January and will be the first fully private flight to the ISS.
Axiom co-founder and executive chairman Kam Ghaffarian, added: “Axiom Space was founded on the knowledge that commercial infrastructure and innovation in space would offer unique ways to improve life on Earth. Axiom’s sole-selection by NASA to connect to ISS and ability to leverage its key revenue lines are evidence of the company’s expertise and a business model that is set up to optimize across a variety of commercial on-orbit opportunities. This highly successful round is a pivotal moment for on-orbit commerce and its implications for our civilization’s potential are far-reaching.”
Brian Stern, a Partner at Declaration Partners, said: “We are proud to partner with Axiom’s exceptional management team, who built, led, and visited the International Space Station on behalf of NASA and its partners. The next-generation space station we are building today will be a key means of conducting space-based research, manufacturing, communication, and travel for decades to come.”