Axiom Space has issued a contract to technology services firm Jacobs to build the Assembly, Integration and Testing facility at Houston Spaceport.
The architecture and engineering phase one design contract approves a planned 100,000 square foot facility that hopes to assist in granting access to low Earth orbit, the Dallas, Texas-based firm said Tuesday. The facility will also help to construct the first commercial international space station.
Axiom Chief Technology Officer Matt Ondler underscored that the facility will offer a chance for spacecraft to be built and outfitted in Houston for the first time and is enthusiastic about the prospect of the facility bringing more aerospace jobs to the city.
Ondler asserted it will “solidify Houston as the U.S. commercial industry’s gateway to space.”
The private space station, when it’s finished, will host research projects and microgravity experiments, in addition to performing manufacturing and commerce during low Earth orbit missions.
This is part of Axiom’s plan to use commercial infrastructure and innovation in space to grow quality of life on earth while also making strides in space exploration, in which they view the Assembly, Integration and Testing facility as an instrumental first step.
Jacobs is onboard with Axiom’s strategy. “Privately funded infrastructure will drive U.S. leadership in space. Jacobs is committed to providing integrated solutions to accelerate the future of commercial space operations,” said Ron Williams, senior vice president, People & Places Solutions at Jacobs.
The company has also recently received public funding, with Jacobs winning seven spots on the General Services Administration’s IDIQ ASTRO contract in September 2021. One of these pools is for work done in space technology.
In December 2021, Axiom was approved by NASA to launch the first all-private crew to travel to the International Space Station. This is one step in their mission to widen accessibility and commercialization of space exploration.