Axiom Space has signed three private astronauts to join former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-AlegrÃa on Ax-1, the first private mission into orbit and to the International Space Station. From a report: In March, Axiom Space announced plans to launch “history’s first fully private human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station.” The mission, dubbed Ax-1, would go forward using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon vehicle to deliver private astronauts to the ISS for at least eight days. At the International Astronautical Congress last month, Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said the company was aiming to launch in the fourth quarter of 2021. Details are still sparse. We know that former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-AlegrÃa will be part of the mission, but the three other astronauts have not been announced yet. The promotional image Axiom posted Wednesday features three male silhouettes, suggesting there will be no female astronauts on board. There is some excitable chatter on Twitter and other places suggesting that two of the other astronauts might be actor Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman, who have been in talks with NASA about filming a movie on the ISS. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine mentioned in June that Axiom was involved in those talks.

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