Former NASA astronauts to lead private space station missions

NASA will require that all private astronaut missions to the International Space Station (ISS) have an experienced former agency astronaut at the helm.

A new solicitation notice (opens in new tab) released by the agency requires that privately run crewed missions to the orbiting lab be led by a retired NASA astronaut. The new rule builds off the experience of Axiom Space’s first mission to the ISS this past April, which the agency referred to as a “recent civilian-crew spaceflight.” (The solicitation was first noticed by SpaceNews (opens in new tab).)

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