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NASA to Participate in Next Private Astronaut Mission News Conference | News Fission

axiom 3 crew

NASA experts will join a virtual news conference hosted by Axiom Space at 10 a.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 13, to discuss the launch of Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3), the third private astronaut mission to the International Space Station.

The Ax-3 launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is targeted no earlier than January 2024 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

During the mission, which includes about 14 days aboard the space station, the four-person multi-national crew will complete more than 30 research experiments developed for microgravity in collaboration with organizations across the globe.

Briefing participants are:

  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA
  • Angela Hart, manager, Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, NASA
  • Matt Ondler, president, Axiom Space
  • Michael López-Alegría, chief astronaut and Ax-3 commander, Axiom Space
  • Sarah Walker, director, Dragon Mission Management, SpaceX
  • Col. Valerio Anastasi, chief of space programs and capabilities office, Italian Air Force
  • Yusuf Kıraç, president, TUA (Turkish Space Agency)
  • Frank De Winne, head of the European astronaut center, ESA (European Space Agency)

Media must register for the mission overview news conference by 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12, at:

In addition to former NASA astronaut López-Alegría commanding the private mission, Walter Villadei of Italy will serve as pilot. The two mission specialists are Alper Gezeravci of Turkey and ESA (European Space Agency) project astronaut Marcus Wandt of Sweden.

NASA’s goal is to enable a strong, commercial marketplace in low Earth orbit where the agency is one of many customers for private industry. The agency recently released its third request for information with proposed requirements for commercial space station services and awarded agreements to advance additional capabilities.

Learn how NASA is fostering a robust commercial low Earth orbit economy at:


Joshua Finch
Headquarters, Washington

Rebecca Turkington
Johnson Space Center, Houston

Alexis DeJarnette

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