The Californian launch operator is preparing its ramp-up (!), by equipping the SLS-40 launch pad at Cape Canaveral with an access bridge for astronauts.
Axiom 3 in sight
November 6, between two bursts of the constellation Starlink dedicated to theglobal internet (lots 120 and 121 were deployed on October 4 and 8), the firing point SLC-40 from the military base of Cape Canaveralin Florida (used since June 2010 by SpaceX for automatic missions on Falcon 9) was equipped with an access gateway for astronauts.
The equipment should be inaugurated next January, on the occasion of the third private mission ofAxiom SpaceAxiom 3, which will use a capsule Crew Dragon and will join the International Space Station for a two-week stay.
Axiom 3 will bring together the former American astronaut Michael Lopez Alegria (who will make his sixth orbital stay) and three fighter pilots: the Italian Walter Villadeithe Turkish Alper Gezeravci and the Swede Marcus Wandtreserve astronaut of theEuropean Space Agency.
The Cape Canaveral base has not seen a manned vessel take flight since the Apollo 7 mission in October 1968 (at the time from the LC-34 launch pad).
With this capacity which is added to that offered by the firing point LC-39A of Kennedy Space Center neighbor (which has hosted SpaceX’s manned flights since the Demo 2 mission in May 2020), the Californian operator will be able to more easily ensure the ramp-up of its launches – a staggering rate of 12 launches per month is announced in 2024, from three firing points: the two located in Florida, and that of the military base of Vandenbergin California…