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Artist's illustration of Axiom Space's private space station. Photo: Axiom Space

Axiom Space, a company aiming to operate the first commercial space station in orbit, is planning to fly a crew of private citizens to the International Space Station (ISS) as early as next year using SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as NASA is working to expand commercial operations on the space station. These kinds of space tourism flights are expected to be a big part of that.

Details: The flight, which could launch as early as late 2021, is expected to bring one Axiom-trained flight commander alongside three tourists to live on the station for eight days.

  • "This will be just the first of many missions to ISS to be completely crewed and managed by Axiom Space — a first for a commercial entity," Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said in a statement.
  • The company hasn't disclosed who the private individuals are or what they might do with their time onboard the station.

Between the lines: The announcement comes as SpaceX is pushing to fly its first astronauts for NASA to the ISS.

  • The Elon Musk-founded company has yet to fly its first people to orbit, but that milestone could come in the coming months as the company stages its first crewed flight for the space agency.

What's next: Axiom expects to fly up to two flights per year to the station, and the company is planning to build out its own modules on the orbiting outpost, with the first launching in 2024.

  • Eventually, Axiom plans to detach those modules and use them to build out its own space station in orbit.

Go deeper

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.

Meadows cooperating with House Jan. 6 select committee

Mark Meadows. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the panel said Tuesday.

Driving the news: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel earlier this month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.