Axiom Astronaut to Conduct Research and Train for International Space Station on Future Virgin Galactic Flight
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (the “Company” or “Virgin Galactic”), an aerospace and space travel company, today announced an agreement with Axiom Space, a U.S.-based commercial space company, to support a microgravity research and training mission. The Virgin Galactic spaceflight, tentatively scheduled for next year, will prepare an Axiom Space astronaut for an upcoming trip to orbit, while conducting microgravity research to supplement the work they will do on the International Space Station.
Virgin Galactic has a deep commitment to providing opportunities for research and scientific exploration in a suborbital space environment. Its pilot-controlled parabolic trajectory from a horizontal launch configuration can be adjusted to the specific needs of the payloads on board, making Virgin Galactic uniquely suited to fly both autonomous and human-tended experiments. The Company has flown research experiments on all previous spaceflights and is reserving 10 percent of its first 1,000 seats for science and technology research missions.
“Our spaceflight system offers a unique opportunity for research, and we’ve seen interest from a range of scientific and technology domains spanning from heliophysics to biological and physical life sciences,” said Virgin Galactic Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations, Sirisha Bandla. “We are excited to work with Axiom Space as we continue to expand the ecosystem for microgravity research and build a pipeline for Virgin Galactic missions to support orbital space travel. Our commitment to research deepens our connection to planet Earth, enabling humanity to broaden our understanding of Earth and our place on it.”
Axiom Space is the commercial space industry’s only full-service orbital mission provider to the International Space Station, conducting full-service, end-to-end crewed missions for private astronauts, including both private individuals and those representing foreign governments. Axiom Space is expanding the international community of space explorers, helping to build human spaceflight programs, while building a permanent commercial space station in low-Earth’s orbit. Axiom Space has several partnerships with sovereign nations to expand their space capabilities including Turkey, Italy, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates.
“Our shared vision with Virgin Galactic to further enable human space exploration, increase scientific discovery and expand the international space explorer footprint makes this a great partnership,” said Axiom Space Chief Astronaut, Michael López-Alegría. “Virgin Galactic’s platform offers an incredible resource for future Axiom astronauts as they prepare for longer duration missions.”
About Virgin Galactic Holdings
Virgin Galactic is an aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles. It is developing a spaceflight system designed to connect the world to the wonder and awe created by space travel and to offer customers a transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.com/.
About Axiom Space
Axiom Space is guided by the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human everywhere. The leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure, Axiom operates end-to-end missions to the International Space Station today while privately building its successor, Axiom Station, the first permanent commercial destination in Earth's orbit that will sustain human growth off the planet and bring untold benefits back home.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws with respect to Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (the "Company"), including statements regarding the Company’s spaceflight systems, markets and expected flight schedule. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by words such as “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “may,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including but not limited to the factors, risks and uncertainties included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Relations section of our website at www.virgingalactic.com. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and, except as required by law, the Company assumes no obligation and does not intend to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.