23:56 GMT22 April 2021
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    The new ISS annex is reportedly expected to feature a research and manufacturing facility, a crew habitat and a "large-windowed" module for viewing our planet.

    The International Space Station may get its first commercial hotel annex in the near future as NASA has apparently already selected a firm to handle this project.

    According to Space News, the company in question is a Houston-based startup called Axiom Space with which the US space agency is now going to negotiate a formal contract "with a five-year base period and a two-year option".

    "Axiom’s work to develop a commercial destination in space is a critical step for NASA to meet its long-term needs for astronaut training, scientific research, and technology demonstrations in low Earth orbit," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

    While the company has revealed few technical details about its "proposed addition to the ISS", as the media outlet points out, the proposed "Axiom Segment" is going to include a "node module, research and manufacturing facility, crew habitat and 'large-windowed' module for viewing the Earth".

    The first module is expected to be launched in the second half of 2024.

    modules, commercial, NASA, ISS
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