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Axiom Space and Mitsui & Co. Establish Joint Venture for On-Orbit Services

By Rachel Jewett | April 11, 2022

Rendering of an Axiom Space commercial space station. Photo: Axiom Space

Axiom Space and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. are forming a joint venture in Japan to offer on-orbit services to commercial and government customers. The agreement announced Monday comes after Mitsui invested in Axiom Space last year.

Axiom Space is working to build a commercial space station and offer human spaceflight services. The company currently has a research lab on orbit on the International Space Station (ISS) for use as a materials testing platform. Axiom Space just sent the first private astronaut crew to the ISS through a SpaceX launch on Friday. The crew is currently on the ISS.

Global investment company Mitsui has a growing presence in space. It owns launch rideshare business Spaceflight, Inc. and was selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as a service provider for cubesat deployment from the Japanese KIBO module at the ISS.  

The two companies said the partnership “builds on Axiom’s in-space capabilities and Mitsui’s global industrial reach.” They have held meetings and begun onboarding commercial customers in consumer electronics, entertainment, agri-tech, chem-tech, marketing/advertising, and other sectors. Discussions have also expanded to government organizations, space agencies and NGOs.  

 “With Mitsui, we aim to accelerate the development of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and advanced materials that improve the quality of life on Earth. We will also integrate our companies’ capabilities to answer the growing demand for on-orbit satellite deployment and servicing, cloud computing, entertainment and exploration systems in orbit,” said Axiom Space’s Chief Business Officer Amir Blachman.