Along with Spaceflight Now's article Axiom wins NASA approval to attach commercial habitat to space station there's a file image of a hypothetical space station from Axiom.

The bottom is reminiscent of the ISS with cylindrical modules connected end-to-end along with a T-section and a big cupola window on the nadir side, but there's this tall "tower" pointing zenith with a big solar panel array on top that I'm guessing gimbals to track the Sun.

Is there any information about this tall tower section; it's necessity or functionality? Can it help stabilize attitude via the gravity gradient for example?

While the image is labeled as an Artist’s concept, presumably the artist was working in coordination with Axiom engineers. Nonetheless some educated speculation may be necessary to answer this question.

Artist’s concept of Axiom’s space station

Artist’s concept of Axiom’s space station, which the company says will be constructed while attached to the International Space Station, then detach to form an independent commercial research complex. Credit: Axiom Space

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe they are going to buy the Nauka from Russia! russianspaceweb.com/images/spacecraft/manned/space_stations/iss/… $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2020 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ Also reminiscent of the old Russia "power tower" solaripedia.com/images/large/1175.jpg Wondering if this isn't artistic license derived from those concepts. $\endgroup$ Jan 29, 2020 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ Looks very kerbal. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Jan 29, 2020 at 14:59
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    $\begingroup$ Speculation: During the initial period when it's attached to the ISS, the Axiom solar panels have to be out of the way of the other panels and radiators of the ISS. Yet, when Axiom does separate, the panels will need to be already in place. So they made a compromise and then gave it the cool name "Axiom Power Tower". $\endgroup$
    – Nimloth
    May 2, 2021 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


The Axiom website calls this part the "Axiom Power Tower" here and lists its uses as:

Expanded environmental, life support, storage and payload capabilities

So it looks like the solar array is for increased energy production, and the "trunk" section will be mostly for storage.

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    $\begingroup$ "it looks like the solar array is for increased energy production" You don't say. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2021 at 12:32

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