A Franco-German startup to serve a private orbital station

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A symbolic contract was signed on October 9 in Paris between the Texan company Axiom Space and the Franco-German startup The Exploration Company.

Distinguished guests

On October 9, the official signing of a contract between the Texan company took place in Paris, at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty. Axiom Space and the Franco-German startup The Exploration Companyrespectively represented by Christian MaenderExecutive Vice President Space Solutions, and Hélène Hubyco-founder and president.

Bruno Le Mairethe inviting minister, was present (before flying off to the Franco-German government seminar in Hamburg), as well as a rather impressive Areopagus, made up of political figures (German and French), representatives of the Cnes and theEuropean Space Agencyand investors, public (BPI) or private.

Let us cite in particular Martin SchäferMinister Plenipotentiary of Germany in France; Claudie Haigneréformer astronaut and former Minister for Research and New Technologies; Christophe Castanerformer Minister of the Interior, now president of the LREM group in the National Assembly; Caroline Laurentdirector of orbital systems and applications at Cnes; Jean-Marc Astorg, director of strategy at Cnes; or Sandra Budimirco-founder of Starburst Aerospace.

See you at the end of 2027

For the record, Axiom Space is developing a completely private space station and, in the meantime, is organizing tourist stays aboard the International Space Stationthe latest dating back to last spring (Axiom 2 mission, with SpaceX).

The Exploration Company, founded in 2021, is a Franco-German company working on a European automatic cargo ship project, called Nyx.

This is a classic recoverable capsule, capable of carrying 4 tonnes into low orbit.

The contract signed on October 9 (which was announced on September 12 during the Word Satellite Business Week) concerns the realization of a transport mission to the Axiom station, end of 2027.

Waiting for Seville

The symbolic significance of the agreement is strong, demonstrating according to the French Minister of the Economy the capacity of European industry to respond to the space transport market, but also illustrating the reality of Franco-German cooperation and its success on the international scene.

The contract also takes place at the end of Space Summitinformal meeting of ministers responsible for the European area, which will be held on November 6 and 7 in Sevillein Spain.

The hope is that there will be a common strategy for exploration, transport and sustainable development in and from space, in particular an autonomous capacity in terms of manned flights.

John Walker Avatar