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Axiom Space Announces International Crew Of Axiom 3 Mission

This morning, NASA and its international partners cleared the crew of 4 who will fly aboard Crew Dragon early next year as part of the Axiom 3 mission, operated by Axiom Space.

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Jay Keegan

Jay Keegan

Tue Sep 12 2023Written by Jay Keegan

This morning, NASA and its international partners cleared the crew of 4 who will fly aboard Crew Dragon early next year as part of the Axiom 3 mission, operated by Axiom Space. As the name suggests, this is Axiom’s third human spaceflight mission — previously flying Ax1 on April 8th 2022, and Ax2 on May 21st 2023.


Axiom 3, a collaborations between Axiom Space and the European Space Agency. It will fly three European crew members, and truly reinstate the “international” aspect of the ISS.



Cmdr. Michael López-Alegría

Michael “MLA” is a veteran NASA astronaut with three shuttle missions, 1 Soyuz mission, and Axiom’s first private spaceflight mission under his belt. MLA has also completed 10 spacewalks during his 276 days in space.

During Axiom 3, Michael will be helping with station activities, science, as well as helping his three crew members live and work in space. On top of his on-orbit duties, MLA will be in charge of commanding the Crew Dragon capsule, which is largely automated.


Pilot Walter Villadei

Born in Rome in April 1974, Walter Villadei serves as a colonel in the Italian Air Force and leads the Space Policy and Operations Office of the General Directorate for Space. He's also part of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Space Agency. With experience flying aircrafts like C-130J, G-222, MB339, and the multirole Eurofighter Typhoon, Villadei has participated in numerous military operations abroad and flight training exercises, including "Red Flag."

In 2008, he underwent cosmonaut training in Russia, preparing as a Soyuz flight engineer. This included advanced Orlan, centrifuge, and hypoxia training. In 2021, he was selected for Virgin Galactic's “Galactic 01” mission to research the human body's transition from gravity to microgravity, serving as mission lead.

Villadei holds a master's in Aerospace Engineering from Naples University and specialised in aeronautical engineering in Rome. Off-duty, he resides in Rome with his family and enjoys hobbies like swimming, running, and scuba diving. Fluent in both English and Italian, his passion for aviation and space led him to pilot Axiom Space’s third private mission to the ISS, Ax-3.


MS Alper Gezeravcı

Born in Silifke, Türkiye, in December 1979, Gezeravcı graduated from the Air Force Academy in Istanbul with a B.S. in Electronics Engineering and later earned a master's from the Air Force Institute of Technology. With over seven years as a fighter pilot in the Turkish Air Force, he flew aircraft including the F-5, T-38, and F-16. He also served as an officer and captain with Turkish Airlines for another seven years.

Recently, he was the Academic Wing Commander at the 10th Base Command Unit in Adana, overseeing squadron standardisation, training documentation, and pilot exams. Passionate about sports, Gezeravcı enjoys activities like scuba diving, sailing, and mountain hiking. His military background includes survival training and deployments.

Gezeravcı is set to be the first Turkish astronaut to fly to space, serving as a mission specialist for Ax3.


MS Marcus Wandt

Born in Sweden in 1980, Marcus Wandt boasts two decades of aviation expertise, having served the Swedish Air Force as a fighter pilot, squadron commander, wing commander, and chief test pilot. Initially part of the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut reserve, he now serves as an ESA project astronaut.

From 2003 to 2014, Wandt operated as a Swedish Air Force fighter pilot, partaking in international exercises and deployments. In 2006, he founded Intuitech AB, focusing on tactical training, and later became SAAB Aeronautics' chief test pilot in Linköping, Sweden. In 2022, Wandt was named to the ESA astronaut reserve.

Educationally, Wandt graduated from Sundsta-Älvkullen High School in 1999 and pursued electronics and space engineering at Chalmers University, earning a master's in electrical engineering in 2007. He also graduated as an officer from the Karlberg Military Academy in 2005 and trained as an experimental test pilot at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, graduating top of his class in 2013-2014.

Currently a lieutenant colonel in the Swedish Air Force, Wandt is fluent in Swedish and English. He's set to become the second Swedish ESA astronaut on the International Space Station as a mission specialist for Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3).



Axiom 3 is scheduled to launch NET January 2024 from Launch Complex 39A.