Axiom Mission 2
SpaceX Crew Dragon (cropped).jpg
Artists' impression of a Crew Dragon approaching the forward port of Harmony on the ISS
Mission typePrivate Crew
OperatorAxiom Space
Mission duration16 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCrew Dragon
Crew size4
Start of mission
Launch dateMay 2023 (planned)[1]
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
End of mission
Landing siteAtlantic Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Docking with ISS
Docking portHarmony forward or zenith
Time docked14 days (planned) [2]

Axiom Mission 2 (or Ax-2) is a planned private crew mission to the International Space Station (ISS), operated by Axiom Space. Its first two crew members have been announced in May 2021.[3] In December 2021, NASA confirmed that the mission would fly on a Crew Dragon.[2] In August 2022, NASA announced that the mission would launch in the second quarter of 2023.[1] It is the second Axiom mission, after Axiom Mission 1 in April 2022.

The crew will include former NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson as mission commander and John Shoffner as pilot.[4] It was confirmed on 2 June 2021 that the mission would use a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.[5]


On January 11, 2022, Axiom announced Italian Air Force (ItAF) Colonel Walter Villadei as the company’s first international professional astronaut.[6] He is currently in training in Houston. Col. Villadei has been selected by Axiom as a backup on the Ax-2 mission.[7] In September 2022 it was reported that Saudi Arabia's Saudi Space Commission bought the remaining two seats for the mission,[8] including one for a female astronaut.[9]

Prime crew

Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Peggy Whitson, Axiom Space
Fourth spaceflight
Pilot United States John Shoffner, Axiom Space
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Saudi Arabia TBA, SSC
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Saudi Arabia TBA, SSC
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
TBA Italy Walter Villadei


  1. ^ a b "NASA, Axiom Sign Second Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station Order". NASA (Press release). 31 August 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b "NASA Selects Second Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station". NASA. 13 December 2021. Retrieved 14 December 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "Record-holding astronaut Peggy Whitson and mission pilot John Shoffner to lead Axiom Space's Ax-2 mission to enable new research in space". Axiom Space. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  4. ^ Harwood, William (25 May 2021). "Whitson to command planned commercial flight to space station". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Axiom Space signs blockbuster deal with SpaceX through 2023 to fly three additional Axiom private crew missions to ISS" (PDF). Axiom Space. 2 June 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Axiom Space to train Italian Air Force's Col. Walter Villadei as professional astronaut for future space mission". Axiom Space. 11 January 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Axiom Space and Italian Government Sign Historic MOU to Expand Commercial Utilization of Space". Axiom Space. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  8. ^ Roulette, Joey (21 September 2022). "Exclusive: Saudi Arabia buys pair of SpaceX astronaut seats from Axiom -sources". Reuters.
  9. ^ Saudi Arabia plans to send female astronaut to space in 2023