“Spacecraft from Japan successfully lands on moon while Axiom embarks on third voyage with SpaceX”

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For the second week in a row, we have lunar lander news to report on. Story of the weekHow could the story of the week be anything other than SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon), the Japanese lunar lander that touched down on the moon on Friday? But even with the issue, the mission achieved a huge portion of its goal, which was to demonstrate a soft lunar landing using optical navigation technology. Launch highlightsWe saw our first crewed mission this year – but even more notably, it was a completely private mission (as in not a NASA astronaut mission). Axiom Space launched its third mission with launch partner SpaceX on Thursday, with the crew successfully docking with the International Space Station at 5:42 AM EST on Saturday, January 20.

View SpaceX’s Third Private Astronaut Mission Launch for Axiom Space in Real-Time

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Axiom Space is gearing up to launch its third fully private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. Per NASA rules, all private missions to the ISS must be led by a former NASA astronaut. Houston-based Axiom’s first private mission launched in April 2022 and the second followed in May 2023. But Axiom is not stopping at private astronaut missions — as if that wasn’t ambitious enough. Instead, the company aims to eventually attach commercial modules to the ISS, that Axiom owns and operates, which would detach by the end of the decade to become a free-flying Axiom Space Station.