October 6, 2022


  • Saudi Arabia has bought two seats in a SpaceX capsule, Reuters reports.
  • Earth bought the seats from Axiom Space as part of a plan to send Saudi astronauts to the ISS.
  • The astronauts will be the first from the nation to travel into space with a private company.

Saudi Arabia has bought two seats on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule from Axiom Space, sources familiar with the deal said Reuters.

The purchase is part of a plan to send two Saudi astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), three anonymous sources confirmed to the news agency.

Sources added that the contract with Houston-based private company Axiom Space was signed earlier this year.

Axiom Space did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment outside normal business hours.

The two seats are in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which will travel to the ISS, where the Saudi astronauts are expected to stay for about a week, reports Reuters.

The astronauts will be the first from the nation to travel into space with a private company. The mission will be the second space voyage organized by Axiom, according to Reuters sources.

Axiom manages missions to and from the ISS, and is also building the first commercial destination in space, Axiom Station, according to its website. In April, the company launched the first private astronaut mission to the ISS. A civilian crew of four also traveled aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, Per NASA.

Private space companies like Axiom are undermining the unique diplomatic position between the US and other nations, traditionally controlled by NASA, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, Axiom announced signed an agreement with the Turkish government to send the first Turkish astronaut into space.

Russian cosmonauts were also scheduled to fly to the ISS with SpaceX under NASA’s new deal with the Russian space agency, Reuters registered.

SpaceX and the Saudi Space Commission did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment outside normal business hours.



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