HFT participates in the development of the world’s first commercial space station.

Posted by on February 12, 2022

We are proud to announce the contract signature with Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), for the supply of window shutter subsystems.

Subject to the final verification, validation, and approval by the International Partners involved in the International Space Station (ISS), two pressurised elements of Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station, will be launched in 2024 and 2025 respectively. Both are expected to be equipped with four windows shutters and docked to the International Space Station (ISS), where Axiom Space will construct it as a commercial segment of the station before it separates and operates independently as the ISS’ successor.

© Axiom Space

Window Shutter Assembly for Axiom Station

Axiom Station: Extension of Human Presence in Low Earth Orbit.

Axiom Station is planned to be the World’s First Commercial Space Orbital Infrastructure and next-generation platform for human-tended microgravity research, product development, and manufacturing. Subject to approval of the international partners, the module is expected to start its job expanding the usable and habitable volume of the ISS, attached to the ISS Node 2 module.

The Axiom modules will later detach and operate as a free- flying commercial space station, working as laboratory for microgravity experiments (regenerative medicine, accelerated disease modelling, pharmaceutic R&D, material science, fluid physics, combustion science), microgravity manufacturing (fiber optics, alloys & superalloys, medical implants, 3D bioprinting) hosting both private and professional astronauts (training and long mission preparation) and research for human deep space flight (human physiology and psychology studies, development technology enabling the extraction and use of material/substances available in cosmic environment)

Based on its past successful experience in sub-system development for the International Space Station, HFT was selected by Thales Alenia Space as responsible for the design, development, assembly and test of the shutter subsystem, as part of windows assembly, installed in the primary structure of Axiom modules.

Each window is equipped with a Window Shutter Assembly (WSA) which is able to fully cover the clear view area when closed (stowed) and shall not interfere with the window field-of-view or other features present on the PM when in open position (deployed).

The WSA in stowed configuration accomplishes different functions:

  • Light blocking, prevent external light from entering the crew compartment when needed by the crew;
  • Provision of thermal protection for the crew compartment and for the underneath window plastic panes;
  • Provision of micrometeoroids and debris shielding, in addition to the window debris panes

The WSA shall be stowed during the module transportation and launch and shall be retained in this position by proper holding points which shall be released on-orbit.

Once released, the WSA shall be manually operated from the crew compartment by the astronauts.