SpaceX Ax-1 private mission to space station: Live updates

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Undocking delayed to Sunday, April 24

The Ax-1 astronaut crew’s undocking from the International Space Station has been postponed to no earlier than Sunday, April 24, due to bad weather at SpaceX’s splashdown sites. 

Undocking is now targeted for 8:55 p.m. EDT on Sunday (0055 April 25 GMT), with a splashdown planned for Monday at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT).

NASA’s undocking coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT) on Sunday for hatch closures between SpaceX’s Ax-1 Crew Dragon capsule and the International Space Station. Undocking coverage will resume at 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 GMT)

Undocking day for Ax-1 astronaut crew

It’s undocking day for SpaceX’s private Ax-1 astronaut crew to end a two-week stay on the International Space Station. 

Ax-1, the first all-private mission to the space station, launched four people to the space station on April 8 on a mission flown by SpaceX for is customer Axiom Space. Flying on the mission are: Commander Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut; and paying passengers Larry Connor, an American entrepreneur; Mark Pathy, a Canadian entrepreneur; and Israeli investor and entrepreneur Eytan Stibbe.

The Ax-1 crew’s return to Earth has been delayed by bad weather at their splashdown site near Florida. If all goes well, the crew will undocking tonight (April 23) and splash down on Sunday (April 24). 

Here’s a schedule of events for today’s undocking activities from NASA (all times in EDT):

Saturday, April 23

  • 4:15 p.m. — Coverage of the hatch closure of Axiom Mission 1 at the International Space Station (Closure targeted for 4:30 p.m.)
  • 6:15 p.m. — Coverage of the undocking of Axiom Mission 1 from the International Space Station (Undocking targeted for 6:35 p.m.; coverage of the Axiom 1 mission reentry and splashdown will be streamed on Axiom Space’s website)

Sunday, April 24
Axiom Space will provide splashdown coverage of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon for the Ax-1 mission. Here’s their schedule.

  • 12:45 p.m. — Coverage of splashdown begins from Axiom Space
  • 1:46 p.m. — Splashdown time for Ax-1 private astronaut mission.

Ax-1 to depart ISS on Saturday (April 26) after weather delays

The four-person Ax-1 mission was originally supposed to leave the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday (April 19). But forecasts of bad weather in the mission’s splashdown zone off the coast of Florida nixed that plan, forcing mission team members to reassess. 

A new schedule is now in place: Ax-1’s SpaceX Dragon capsule will undock from the ISS on Saturday at 8:35 p.m. EDT (0035 GMT on April 24) and splash down on Sunday (April 24) at about 1:46 p.m. EDT (1746 GMT), weather permitting, NASA officials said.

The new plan also affects SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronaut mission to the ISS, which had been scheduled to launch on Saturday. Crew-4 will now lift off no earlier than Tuesday (April 26). Read our story here.

Still assessing for undocking

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Ax-1 was set to depart the International Space Station in the morning on Tuesday (April 19). That was delayed to Tuesday night and then delayed further due to poor weather conditions on Earth; the mission is set to splash down off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.

Today (April 20), Kathy Lueders, the Associate Administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA, shared on Twitter that they are still assessing when they will be undocking the Ax-1 mission and sending the crew home to Earth. 

“As the weather forecast remains unfavorable, we’re still assessing the best time to undock the #Ax1 mission from @Space_Station,” Lueders tweeted. “We’ll be reviewing throughout the day. Really proud of the @NASA, @Axiom_Space, & @SpaceX.”

She continued in a follow-up tweet, stating that “When #Ax1 departs, @Space_Station then has room for Crew-4 to dock. We want to provide a two-day gap after return for data reviews and to prepare for launch and stage recovery assets. We’ll make decisions about a new Crew-4 launch date based on safely executing our plans.”

NASA also shared the update on Twitter:

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Mike L-A spins in space

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Ax-1 mission commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría shared a gif of himself spinning around in space aboard the International Space Station with the caption “Current Mood” as the undocking and return of the private astronaut mission continues to be delayed.

Undocking delayed for Ax-1

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Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission was set to undock tonight (April 19), but because of poor weather conditions back on Earth, the undocking has been delayed. A new undocking and return date has not yet been announced.

“Due to unfavorable weather conditions, we are waving off tonight’s undocking of the #Ax1 mission from @Space_Station. The integrated Axiom Space, @NASA and @SpaceX teams are assessing the next best opportunity for the return of Ax-1, the first all-private mission to the ISS,” Axiom tweeted.

The four private astronauts of the Axiom Space Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station wave to students at Space Center Houston during a video call on April 13, 2022. They are (from left): Ax-1 pilot Larry Connor; commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría; Canadian entrepreneur Mark Pathy; and Israeli entrepeneur Eytan Stibbe. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Tonight (April 19) at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT on April 20), the private astronauts of the Ax-1 crew will undock from the International Space Station and head home to Earth. 

Ahead of their departure, mission commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría shared some words on Twitter about the mission. 

“It’s been an amazing experience. A few adjectives may be unique certainly, magnificent, and to some degree humbling, but I think more than anything it’s been very, very rewarding,” He said on Twitter

He continued in additional posts, sharing that “We think that in the future this is something that we can share with more and more of humanity and make humankind all the better for it.”

In his most recent post, he shared a few words about what it has been like living with other crews on the station. 

“I want to echo what everyone has said about how gracious and patient Crew-3 has been with us. They’ve shared their time, their wisdom, their food, their stories… it’s been a steady and gentle hand guiding us through these 10 days; we are very grateful,” he posted.

Looking forward to Earth

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Ax-1 commander Michael López-Alegría shared a gorgeous image of our home planet as he and the other mission crew members look forward to returning to Earth after their roughly 10-day journey in space. 

“Very soon I get to fly back home, on a dragon, to this beautiful planet!” he shared on Twitter.

The Ax-1 will be flying home tonight (April 19). 

ISS crew bids farewell to Ax-1

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The Expedition 67 crew of astronauts living aboard the International Space Station said goodbye to the Ax-1 private astronauts ahead of their undocking today (April 19). 

The farewell ceremony came ahead of Ax-1’s departure from the station, which will began at 10 p.m. EDT tonight (0200 GMT on April 20). The ceremony, which you can watch in the video embedded in the tweet above from the ISS, was led by station commander, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn. 

Ax-1 undocking delayed

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour carrying the Ax-1 private astronaut crew for Axiom Space docks at the International Space Station on April 9, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

The Ax-1 private astronaut crew who have been living aboard the International Space Station since they arrived on April 9 (after an April 8 launch) will have to wait a little bit longer before they can come home to Earth, according to a new statement from NASA> 

The four-member crew was previously set to undock from the space station early in the morning on Tuesday (April 19). But now, due to a delay, the crew won’t undock until about 10 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (0200 GMT April 20). This will see the crew splashing down off the coast of Florida no earlier than about 3:24 p.m. EDT (1924 GMT) on Wednesday (April 20). 

Ax-1 crew dreams of the moon

The four private astronauts of the Axiom Space Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station wave to students at Space Center Houston during a video call on April 13, 2022. They are (from left): Ax-1 pilot Larry Connor; commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría; Canadian entrepreneur Mark Pathy; and Israeli entrepeneur Eytan Stibbe. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The Ax-1 crew, now living and working aboard the International Space Station, says they would love a trip to the moon. 

“The sights from here are amazing, especially during sunset,” private astronaut Eytan Stibbe, an Israeli entrepreneur who paid for his seat alongside crew members Mark Pathy and Larry Connor, said during a livestreamed event April 13. 

“We’ve actually talked about that [going to the moon] and said ‘hey, would you come back if there was an opportunity to go to the moon?'” Connor told third-grader Lilliana, age 8, during the event.  “Universally, it’s a resounding yes. So, please let the folks at NASA know that the Ax-1 crew is up to the challenge.”

Read more: here

Ax-1 crew hits 1-week mark of mission

The four private astronauts of the Axiom Space Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station wave to students at Space Center Houston during a video call on April 13, 2022. They are (from left): Ax-1 pilot Larry Connor; commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría; Canadian entrepreneur Mark Pathy; and Israeli entrepeneur Eytan Stibbe.

The four private astronauts of the Axiom Space Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station wave to students at Space Center Houston during a video call on April 13, 2022. They are (from left): Ax-1 pilot Larry Connor; commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría; Canadian entrepreneur Mark Pathy; and Israeli entrepeneur Eytan Stibbe. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The four private astronauts of Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission have hit the one-week mark of their 10-day mission to the International Space Station.

On Wednesday, the commercial astronauts spoke with students at Space Center Houston in Texas to describe what their mission’s been like. Ax-1 pilot and American entrepreneur Larry Connor said he would love a trip to the moon after this flight, if the opportunity arises. 

“The sights from here are amazing, especially during sunset,”  Eytan Stibbe, an Israeli entrepreneur and Ax-1 mission specialist, added during the livestreamed event. “You see the Earth, and you see the atmosphere and different colors, sometimes red, green, brown, yellow. All the colors of this very fragile atmosphere that surrounding our planet and protecting us.”

Passover in space

Today’s a special day for Stibbe and the Ax-1 crew as the Israeli astronaut will celebrate Passover in space

“Passover is all about freedom, which is a value which we celebrate annually and remind ourselves about the importance of freedom,” Stibbe said of the Jewish holiday during a pre-launch news conference on April 1. 

Passover begins at sundown and Stibbe has taken shmurah matzah, or “guarded” matzah, along with other Passover provisions, provided by Rabbi Zvi Konikov of Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts, a synagogue in Florida. He is the 19th Jewish person to fly in space. 

Goodnight from space

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“Goodnight Moon” Ax-1 commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría said on Twitter alongside a striking image of the moon in space, with the blue glow of Earth’s atmosphere visible below. 

López-Alegría is leading a crew of private astronauts including Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy on a 10-day mission in space. The mission, from Texas-based aerospace company Axiom Space, launched April 8 with a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. 

Ax-1 commander vs orange juice

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As he and the rest of the mission crew adjust to living and working in space, Ax-1 commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría shared a short video on April 12 of himself trying to drink orange juice aboard the space station. Without gravity, the orange juice flies out of the pouch in his hands in a floating globule. 

His caption for the video: “Me = 0 Orange Juice = 1” implies that he ultimately lost his battle to drink the juice. 

First tweet from space

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In his first social media post since launching to space, Ax-1 commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría shared a photo of Earth, lit up at night, from space with the Spanish language caption: “La vida es corta; vívala a tope!” In English, this translates to: “Life is short; live it to the fullest!”

Ax-1 crew works in space

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The Ax-1 crew safely docked with the International Space Station on Saturday (April 9) after launching the day before. Since their arrival, the crew has adjusting to life in space and getting to work. 

In an update posted by Axiom Space before docking, the crew reports that they “feel fine” now floating without gravity aboard the Dragon capsule. Once aboard the station, the remainder of the crew aboard the station welcomed them aboard in a welcome ceremony. There are now 11 humans living in space aboard the orbiting lab. 

SpaceX Ax-1 astronauts get their official pins

The four private astronauts of SpaceX’s Ax-1 mission just got their astronaut pins

Ax-1 mission commander Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut and station commander, gave each of his three crewmates official astronaut pins from the Association of Space Explorers to mark their trip to space. You can see the ceremony in the video above. 

Words don’t describe it,” Ax-1 pilot and entrepreneur Larry Connor said. “Thanks to SpaceX for a phenomenal ride.”

Each of the three newly minted astronauts said they’re enjoying their trip so far and eager to start a packed schedule of science, education events and some fun aboard the station.  Their SpaceX Dragon docked at the space station earlier today.

SpaceX’s Ax-1 private astronauts make a number one gesture for their flight after joining the Expedition 67 crew on the International Space Station and getting their astronaut wings on April 9, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

“It’s just amazing to be here, it’s hard to find the words,” Pathy said, adding that he has to remember to look up to see crewmates floating on the ceiling. “It’s been an amazing journey. I’m not just talking about the last 24 hours, I’m talking about everything that’s got us here.”

We’ll have a full story on today’s hatch opening and welcome ceremony shortly.

SpaceX Ax-1 private astronauts board ISS

SpaceX’s four Ax-1 private astronauts have entered the International Space Station and a welcoming ceremony is about to begin. You can watch it in the window above.

Israeli crewmember Eytan Stibbe was the first to board, followed by Canadian Mark Pathy, Larry Connor of the United States and Michael López-Alegría of the U.S. and Spain. They were welcomed with broad smiles and hugs from the space station’s Expedition 67 crew.

Hatch opening occurred at 10:13 a.m. EDT (1413 GMT).  Here’s a video of how it happened.

Ax-1 astronauts doff spacesuits, prep for hatch opening

The four Ax-1 astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour and International Space Station crew are preparing to open the hatches between their two ships for today’s historic arrival of the first all-private crew to the ISS. 

On the station, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron have opened the inner station hatch at the Dragon’s docking port and have primed the outer hatch. They ISS and Dragon crews are set to equalize the pressure between their two craft before opening the final hatches. 

Docking! SpaceX Dragon arrives with Ax-1 crew

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour and its Ax-1 astronaut crew have successfully docked at the International Space Station after a short delay due to a video issue. 

Docking occurred at 8:29 a.m. (1229 GMT), about 44 minutes later than planned, as both spacecraft flew 258 statute miles over the central Atlantic Ocean. 

A series of 12 hooks and latches will secure the Dragon Endeavour to its space-facing docking port on the station’s Harmony module. 

The delays with docking has pushed back the schedule of today’s hatch opening and welcome ceremony. The hatches were scheduled to be opened at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT) followed by a welcome ceremony a half-hour later. Those events will now likely occur in the 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) hour. 

Docking underway

SpaceX has resumed docking operations for Ax-1. Docking is imminent. 

Video glitch slows SpaceX Dragon docking

A video routing issue on the International Space Station has slowed today’s docking of the SpaceX Ax-1 private astronaut mission.

The ISS crew is unable to see video from the Ax-1 Dragon’s centerline camera, which is needed to proceed for today’s docking, which was scheduled for 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT). The Crew Dragon Endeavour is now 20 meters away from the station and holding, and it can remain parked there for about 2 hours, NASA and SpaceX has said. 

The Ax-1 astronauts on Dragon can see the video from their ship’s camera, as can ISS and SpaceX flight controllers on the ground. The issue appears only to be affected the astronauts on the ISS currently. 

“We feel your pain,” Ax-1 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria told Mission Control when getting the news. 

Here’s a look at where Waypoint 2, where Dragon is station keeping, is at the station. 

This SpaceX graphic shows the location of Waypoint 2 for the Axiom Space Ax-1 Crew Dragon Endeavour’s docking at the International Space Station on April 9, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

SpaceX Dragon 20 meters from space station

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour is now 20 meters away from the International Space Station and holding at Waypoint 2 as it prepares to dock at the orbiting lab. 

You can watch it live in the window above, but the video feed may refresh. Watch uninterrupted feeds on our homepage.  

SpaceX Dragon nears Waypoint 1 for docking

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour is nearing a location called waypoint 1 above the International Space Station as it proceeds for today’s docking at the orbiting lab. 

As the Dragon and Ax-1 crew approach, cameras on the space station captured an amazing view of the Dragon spacecraft and the half moon. 

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with the Ax-1 crew is seen with the moon in the background during docking approach operations on April 9, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

SpaceX Crew Dragon closing on ISS

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour with the Ax-1 crew is about 7.5 kilometers from the International Space Station and closing for today’s docking operations. 

Astronauts on the International Space Station captured a stunning view of the Dragon capsule during an orbital sunrise as it makes its approach. 

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour carrying the Ax-1 crew closes in on the International Space Station during an orbital sunrise during docking operations on April 9, 2022.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour carrying the Ax-1 crew closes in on the International Space Station during an orbital sunrise during docking operations on April 9, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

The four Ax-1 astronauts have donned their SpaceX spacesuits for today’s docking and are performing a series of leak checks on them currently. 

Here’s a look at the stages of today’s docking. 

This SpaceX graphic shows the steps of the Axiom Space Ax-1 Crew Dragon Endeavour docking at the International Space Station on April 9, 2022.

This SpaceX graphic shows the steps of the Axiom Space Ax-1 Crew Dragon Endeavour docking at the International Space Station on April 9, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

It’s docking day for Ax-1 crew

It’s docking day for the four private astronauts of the the Axiom Space Ax-1 crew. 

SpaceX’s Ax-1 Crew Dragon spacecraft is on track for a planned 7:45 a.m. EDT (1145 GMT) docking at the International Space Station to ferry former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría and crewmates Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe to the orbiting laboratory. The four space travelers launched into orbit on Friday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. 

After today’s docking, the crew will perform an hours-long series of leak checks between their two spacecraft with planned hatch-opening between their vehicles set for 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT). A welcome ceremony on the ISS is scheduled for 10:05 a.m. EDT (1405 GMT)

Hello from space!

The Ax-1 mission launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The crew of the Ax-1 mission are now five hours into their flight, and all seems to be going smoothly, according to mission commander Michael Lopez-Alegria’s first tweet since launch, which reads simply, “What a ride!”

20 hours of flight ahead for Ax-1

Liftoff for Ax-1 on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Axiom Space has ended its broadcast for the launch of the Ax-1 mission. The team noted that the crew will proceed to take off their space suits and have a meal. Then, at about 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), the astronauts will enter a 10-hour rest period before docking procedures begin early Saturday (April 9).

The crew might speak to the public today at about 2:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT) and/or tomorrow at about 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 GMT), but neither of those opportunities is guaranteed, mission personnel noted.

We’ll continue to bring you mission updates as they become available.

Visors up in zero G!

Ax-1 crewmembers receive the signal they can lift the visors on their helmets; in the background, the crew's zero-g indicator does its job.

Ax-1 crewmembers receive the signal they can lift the visors on their helmets; in the background, the crew’s zero-g indicator does its job. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Dragon is on its own in space

The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket drifts away from the Dragon capsule. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket has drifted away from the Dragon capsule, which will spend about 20 hours catching up to the International Space Station.

Ax-1 is safely in orbit

SpaceX and Axiom Space confirm that the Ax-1 mission has safely reached orbit. Next, the Dragon capsule will separate from the second stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.

The view from the ground

Space.com senior writer Chelsea Gohd is on the ground in Florida for the Ax-1 launch — enjoy the view from NASA’s press site.

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A view of the Ax-1 launch from the ground.

A view of the Ax-1 launch from the ground. (Image credit: Space.com/Chelsea Gohd)
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(Image credit: Space.com/Chelsea Gohd)
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(Image credit: Space.com/Chelsea Gohd)

Ax-1 in flight

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A view looking back to Kennedy Space Center from the Ax-1 mission shortly after launch on April 8, 2022.

A view looking back to Kennedy Space Center from the Ax-1 mission shortly after launch on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)
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ax-1 fire

(Image credit: Axiom Space)
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On the left, the first stage of the Ax-1 rocket returning to Earth; on the right, the second stage continues firing to carry the astronauts to orbit.

On the left, the first stage of the Ax-1 rocket returning to Earth; on the right, the second stage continues firing to carry the astronauts to orbit. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The first-ever private mission to the International Space Station is on the way to orbit!

Liftoff!

Liftoff for Ax-1 on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Fuel loading complete

Both first and second stages of the Falcon 9 are fully loaded with propellants with 1 minute 30 seconds to launch.

T-6 minutes

A view of the Ax-1 mission before launch on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Fueling of both stages continues, the strongback is preparing to retract and launch is minutes away.

Fueling up

A view of the Ax-1 Falcon 9 rocket during the fueling process for launch on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The Ax-1 crew remain atop the Falcon 9 rocket as it fuels up, with launch about 15 minutes away.

Time to fuel up

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Ax-1 mission is now being fueled in preparation for launch, which is about half an hour away.

Farewell, access arm!

The crew access arm retracting from the Dragon capsule before the Ax-1 launch on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The crew access arm has swung away from the Dragon spacecraft. Next up, the SpaceX team will arm the launch escape system that protects astronauts in case of emergency. Launch is just over 40 minutes away.

T-1 hour to launch!

The Ax-1 mission on the launch pad on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The Ax-1 mission has reached just under an hour before launch. SpaceX and Axiom Space personnel confirm that all is well with the spacecraft and weather looks good for launch.

Suit check

The astronauts of Ax-1 check for leaks in their space suits. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The seats holding the four astronauts of the Ax-1 mission have rotated into their flight position and the crewmembers are checking to ensure their suits are not leaking.

“Godspeed, fellas, let’s go have some fun”

SpaceX and Axiom Space personnel continue checking in with each other with liftoff under 2.5 hours away. “Godspeed, fellas, let’s go have some fun,” one member of ground support told the astronauts.

Ready to fly

The four astronauts of Ax-1 strapped into the Endeavour before comms check. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

SpaceX and Axiom Space personnel are about to begin communications checks with the four crew members of the Ax-1 mission aboard their capsule, Endeavour.

Rocket with a view

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A view of the Endeavour capsule on the launch pad with the waters off Kennedy Space Center in the background.

A view of the Endeavour capsule on the launch pad with the waters off Kennedy Space Center in the background. (Image credit: Axiom Space)
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The Ax-1 rocket and capsule on the launch pad with the four astronauts at the tip.

(Image credit: Axiom Space)

Inside Endeavour

All four Ax-1 astronauts have entered their Dragon capsule, Endeavour. Above their heads, two stickers are visible, marking the previous flights Endeavour has made: the Demo-2 and Crew-2 missions for NASA to the International Space Station.

A view of the Ax-1 crew members inside their Dragon capsule, Endeavour. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Preparing to ingress

Ax-1 astronauts Mark Connor and Michael Lopez Alegria walking toward their Dragon capsule. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

The Ax-1 crew are preparing to enter their Dragon capsule.

At the pad!

The crew of Ax-1 has arrived at the launch pad with a little under three hours before launch.

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The astronauts of the Ax-1 mission walk out for their flight on April 8, 2022.

The astronauts of the Ax-1 mission walk out for their flight on April 8, 2022. (Image credit: Axiom Space)
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The astronauts of Ax-1 celebrate walk-out.

The astronauts of Ax-1 celebrate walk-out. (Image credit: Axiom Space)
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The astronauts of Ax-1 boarded two customized Teslas for the short drive to the launch pad.

(Image credit: Axiom Space)
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Ax-1 astronaut Eytan Stibbe does a dance at the launch pad.

Ax-1 astronaut Eytan Stibbe does a dance at the launch pad. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

Watch now! Just over 3 hours to launch!

SpaceX will launch the first private mission to the International Space Station today at 11:17 a.m. Houston company Axiom Space, which is managing the flight, has started its broadcast of launch preparations. Tune in here!

Next up, the astronauts will head out to the launch pad. We’ll keep you posted here throughout the day.

Pre-launch news conference

A zoomed-in view of the Artemis 1 stack (at right) and Ax-1 Falcon 9 and Dragon at KSC on April 6, 2022. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Ahead of tomorrow’s (April 8) launch that will see Ax-1, Axiom Space’s first crewed mission, launch the first fully-private mission to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket, mission team members will be discussing final launch preparations today no earlier than 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT).

You can watch the news conference live at axiomspace.com.

The live pre-launch news conference will take place about one hour after the mission’s Launch Readiness Review and will discuss the results of the review as we are now less than 24 hours to launch, which is set for Friday (April 8) at 11:17 a.m. EDT (1517 GMT). 

In today’s news conference, the speakers include: 

Looking good for launch

All systems for Axiom Space’s Friday (April 8) launch are “looking good,” SpaceX said in a tweet today (April 7). 

The company will launch the crewed Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket, which are stacked and ready on Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

“All systems are looking good for tomorrow’s Falcon 9 launch of the @Axiom_Space Ax-1 mission to the @space_station; teams are keeping an eye on downrange weather along the ascent corridor,” SpaceX said in a post on Twitter this morning. 

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The post also noted that tomorrow, on launch day, the live webcast of the launch will begin at 7:55 a.m. EDT (1155 GMT), a few hours ahead of the planned 11:17 a.m. EDT (1517 GMT) launch time.  

Astronaut launch preparations

Former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría shared this photo of himself in an Axiom Space-labeled vehicle early in the morning on  April 6, 2022.  He and the Ax-1 crew  were up early for a dry dress rehearsal at the paunch pad.  (Image credit: Michael López-Alegría/Twitter)

Former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría shared this photo of himself early in the morning on April 6, 2022. The astronaut, two days away from launching back to space on April 8, and the other three members of the Ax-1 mission crew were “up bright and early for Dry Dress at LC-39,” he wrote on Twitter

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López-Alegría and three paying passengers are set to launch Friday (April 8) on a 10-day trip to the International Space Station. The mission, a private mission with Texas-based aerospace company Axiom Space, will see the crew of four launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket. 

The “Dry Dress,” López-Alegría mentions in this tweet refers to dress rehearsal procedures that the crew goes through ahead of launch to essentially practice what they will do on launch day. 

Static fire: complete!

Another look at the Ax-1 Dragon and Falcon 9 during their rollout on April 5, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX via Twitter)

SpaceX has completed the static fire test, a critical pre-launch test, with its Falcon 9 rocket ahead of the upcoming launch Friday (April 8), the company said via Twitter.

Friday, SpaceX will launch a crew of spaceflyers on a private mission to the International Space Station for Texas-based aerospace company Axiom Space. The crew will launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket. 

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A static fire test is a crucial test ahead of a launch and, during this test, a rocket will be fired up while stationary at the launch pad. This ensures the functionality of the rocket’s engines ahead of liftoff. 

The SpaceX update also states that Friday’s launch should have good weather. The “weather forecast is currently 80% favorable for liftoff and teams are monitoring conditions along the ascent corridor,” the tweet reads. 

Ax-1 launch delays to Friday!

The crew of Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission pose for a photo inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft  while training. They are: (from left)  Mark Pathy; Larry Connor; Michael López-Alegría; and Eytan Stibbe. (Image credit: SpaceX/Axiom Space)

SpaceX will now launch Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station Friday (April 8) after a delay with NASA’s Artemis 1 wet dress rehearsal.

The launch, previously set for April 6, will send former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría alongside three paying passengers on a 10-day journey to space which will include an 8-day stay aboard the space station. The crew will launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle atop a Falcon 9 rocket. 

The launch will now take place Friday at 11:17 a.m. EDT (1517 GMT) from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Read more: here

Ax-1 crew conference Friday!

Axiom Space’s private Ax-1 crew will ride a SpaceX spacecraft to the International Space Station in April 2022. They are (from left): pilot Larry Connor; Mark Pathy, mission specialist; López-Alegría , commander; and Eytan Stibbe, mission specialist. (Image credit: Axiom Space)

This Friday (April 1), the astronauts launching with Axiom’s Ax-1 mission as well as company representatives will be participating in a live crew press conference, which you can watch live here at Space.com or directly at axiomspace.com.

All four astronauts who are set to fly on Ax-1 will be participating in this conference. This includes:

In the conference, you will also hear from Axiom leaders: 

Ax-1 mission launch delayed to April 6

NASA, SpaceX and Axiom space have delayed the launch of the Ax-1 mission to no earlier than April 6 due to a conflict with the space agency’s Artemis 1 moon rocket fueling test this weekend. 

SpaceX initially planned to launch the Ax-1 mission on April 3, Sunday, from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. NASA, however, must complete its first fueling test of its Artemis 1 moon rocket by the same day at the nearby Pad 39B, prompting the agency to take priority. NASA’s fueling test, called a wet dress rehearsal, will begin on April 1 and end on April 3. 

The Ax-1 mission, which will launch former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría and paying paying passengers Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe to the station, will now lift off at 12:05 p.m. EDT (1605 GMT) on Wednesday, April 6. The private astronauts will spend 11 days in space, eight of them on the space station, performing experiments, sampling a gourmet menu cooked up by celebrity chef José Andrés and enjoying their spaceflight experience.

Ax-1 launch depends on Artemis 1 fueling test

In a press conference this evening, NASA officials said Axiom Space’s private Ax-1 space mission is ready to launch to the International Space Station as early as April 3 at 1:13 p.m. EDT (1713 GMT), but only if NASA completes a critical fueling test of its new Space Launch System megarocket. 

The Ax-1 mission, which will launch four private spaceflyers to the station on a 10-day trip, eight of them on the ISS, on a SpaceX rocket. SpaceX uses Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s Artemis 1 Space Launch System megarocket is standing atop the nearby Pad39B for a vital “wet dress rehearsal” which is scheduled for April 1 to April 3. 

It is possible that NASA will complete the Artemis 1 fueling test early enough on April 3 for Ax-1 to fly. If not, the private mission’s launch window extends through at least April 7, NASA said. 

Ax-1 mission clears flight readiness review

NASA, SpaceX and Axiom Space have completed a day-long flight readiness review meeting today, March 25, for the planned Axiom Mission (Ax-1) to the International Space Station set to launch no earlier than April 3, 2022. 

The mission, which will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, will carry four private astronauts to the space station for the first time. It is the first all-private mission to the station in its over 20-year history. 

Ax-1 will launch former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría and paying passengers  Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe. López-Alegría will command the flight. The space travelers will spend 10 days in space and plan to perform a series of science experiments and studies on the space station while also enjoying the commercial spaceflight experience. 

“During the 10-day mission, the crew will spend eight days on the International Space Station conducting scientific research, outreach, and commercial activities,” NASA officials said in a statement.

NASA will hold a press teleconference tonight at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) to discuss plans for the Ax-1 mission. You can listen in on the mission live here.

Speaking during tonight’s press conference will be:

  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate
  • Dana Weigel, deputy manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Angela Hart, program manager, NASA’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Program
  • Michael Suffredini, president and CEO, Axiom Space
  • Derek Hassmann, operations director, Axiom Space
  • William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX



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