Pathfinder #0001! Featuring Michael Suffredini and a Chat on Private Space Stations

Covert art for Pathfinder, Payload's podcast, presented by SpiderOak Mission Systems

Welcome to Pathfinder, a new weekly show where Payload Managing Editor Ryan Duffy sits down with the top shot-callers in space. Each week, Duffy sits down with the top shot-callers in space to keep you informed, entertained, and up-to-date on the top news and trends beyond Earth. In Pathfinder #0001, we speak with Michael Suffredini, president and CEO of Axiom Space.

Pathfinder is brought to you by SpiderOak Mission Systems, an industry leader in space cybersecurity. Check out their space cybersecurity white paper at

In Pathfinder #0001, our first-ever (!) episode, Duffy speaks with Michael Suffredini, president and CEO of Houston-based Axiom Space. The unicorn is building a space station, brokering private spaceflight missions with SpaceX, and even has a slot at the International Space Station (ISS) with its name on it. If you can’t tell, we love saying the word space. 

Suffredini is one of the world’s foremost authorities on building and operating space stations. He spent three decades at NASA and 10 years as the ISS program manager, before hanging up his space agency cleats to start Axiom with Kam Ghaffarian. 

In April, Axiom clinched a world, or maybe intergalactic, first. Together with SpaceX, Axiom launched Ax-1, the first all-private mission to the ISS. In our conversation, recorded in early May, Suffredini shares plenty with us on Ax-1, Axiom’s business model, his time at NASA, Tom Cruise’s LEO movie, in-space manufacturing, and much more.

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