Nima Shahinyan of Hakkadal trains astronauts at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City outside Moscow. The goal is to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of 2023.
The Afghan veteran, industrial designer and father of two arranges the flight and training through US space company Space Adventures, a company that provides trips to the space station for individuals.
As part of his future stay on the International Space Station, Nyima is also preparing for the first commercial “spacewalk” in history, a spacewalk outside the space station where he will grace a science experiment.
If he succeeds in financing the entire project, he will be the first Norwegian to reach space.
We are looking forward on behalf of all those who are successful in their space projects, and Nyima has shown a great willingness to advocate for this project, says Arvid Berthew Johansen, Head of Manned Spaceflight and Exploration at the Norwegian Space Center.
Professional European astronauts are recruited by the European Space Agency (ESA) after a painstaking selection process. After two years of astronaut training, they usually work for the European Space Agency for many years. The space organization is currently working on selecting new astronauts, and several Norwegians have moved on to the second stage of shooting. The Norwegian Space Center has worked actively to promote ESA astronaut registrations in Norway, and is following the selection process closely.
From being a government-dominated industry, the aerospace business has been marketed on a broad front. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the clearest example of unbearable private initiative. We have also seen that many wealthy people who dream of space have bought a trip to the space station and paid their money out of their own pockets.
Shahinyan is not a billionaire, but he wants to complete the journey in cooperation with financial partners. This is another new way to get out into space. Another example of commercial development is the American company Axiom Space. They want to offer space travel to individuals, companies, and space organizations. They are planning a manned flight to the International Space Station in February or March of this year and want to start building a private space station in 2024.
Lots of training
For Shahinian, accommodation and training in Star City is the first of many. In the next 12-20 months, Naama will be spending a lot of time there.
The NEMA space project is exciting and likely to create multiple positive effects for Norwegian space activities, as it contributes to an increased interest in space and space technology, says Berthew Johansen.
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