Axiom Orbital Segment and Axiom Segment are names given to the planned components of the International Space Station (ISS) designed by Axiom Space for commercial space activities and space tourism uses. Axiom Space gained initial NASA approval for the venture in January 2020. This orbital segment may in future be separated from the ISS to become a separate space station, Axiom Station.
Up to three Axiom modules could attach to the International Space Station. The first module could be launched in 2024 and would dock to the forward port of Harmony, requiring relocation of Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA-2) to any other ports on ISS like Harmony nadir. Axiom Space plans to attach up to two additional modules to its first core module, and send private astronauts to inhabit the modules.
Axiom renderings illustrate how the three modules might attach to the ISS as they are berthed and relocated by the Mobile Servicing System using Canadarm2. Canadarm2 might also continue its operations on the Axiom Space Station after the retirement of ISS in late 2020s.
The company released preliminary plans in February 2020 for how the Axiom Orbital Segment could form the basis for the Axiom Station, a potential future space station, constructed out of the Axiom Segment and additional elements upon ISS retirement and separation, including a power and thermal module with an airlock.[non-primary source needed] The company targets the mid-2020s for its first module to attach to the ISS and the late-2020s for station completion.[needs update] The plan is similar[according to whom?] to the proposed Russian space station Orbital Piloted Assembly and Experiment Complex (OPSEK), which would reuse the Russian Orbital Segment as its basis.
The interior concept of the Axiom Orbital Segment was designed by French architect and designer Philippe Starck. Renderings of the habitat show a chamber with walls that are covered with tufted padding and studded with hundreds of color-changing LEDs. The Axiom Orbital Segment will have amenities including high-speed Wi-Fi, video screens, picture windows and a glass-walled cupola — which Axiom calls "the largest window observatory ever constructed for the space environment".