Launched Friday morning from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After reaching orbit, the spacecraft detached from the rocket and flew freely in orbit for about 20 hours as it maneuvered near ISS.
During this voyage, known as the AX-1, Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut, leads the mission as an Axiom crew; Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe; Canadian investor Mark Patty; And Larry Connor, an Ohio-based real estate tycoon.
After reaching ISS on their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, they were already joined by seven professional astronauts at the space station – including three NASA astronauts, one German astronaut and three Russian astronauts.
Everything you need to know is here.
How much does all this cost?
This mission is made possible by the very close integration between Axiom, SpaceX and NASA, as it is funded and operated by the ISS Government.
Food alone in space costs $ 2,000 per person per day. It costs $ 88,000 to $ 164,000 a day for a business team to get to and from the space station. Bringing in the necessary support from NASA astronauts for each mission would cost business clients another $ 5.2 million, and another $ 4.8 million for all work support and planning provided by NASA.
In view of the Russian conflict, is it safe to go to the ISS?
Russia is the United States’ primary partner in the ISS, and the space station has long been hailed as a symbol of post-Cold War cooperation.
Despite all the confusion, behind the scenes, NASA repeatedly tried to confirm that NASA and its Russian counterparts were working together seamlessly.
“NASA is aware of the latest developments regarding the International Space Station. US sanctions and export control measures allow continued US-Russian civil space cooperation at the space station,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a recent statement. “The professional relationship between our international partners, astronauts and astronauts continues for the protection and mission of everyone on the ISS.”
Are they astronauts or tourists?
This is currently a question in the space travel community.
The U.S. government has traditionally offered astronaut wings to those traveling more than 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. But commercial astronaut wings – a relatively new designation offered by the Federal Aviation Administration – are not given very generously.
Whether it is fair to still refer to astronauts as “astronauts” is an open question, and has been weighed down by countless observers, including NASA astronauts.
If you ask the AX-1 crew, they do not like to be referred to as “tourists”.
“This task is very different from what you’ve heard on some recent – especially sub-orbital – missions. We are not space tourists,” Lopez-Alegria told reporters earlier this month, referring to the brief supersonic flights Jeff undertook. Bezos’ company is Blue Origin. “I think space tourism plays an important role, but it’s not about axiomatic.”
The crew underwent extensive training for this task, performing the same tasks as professional astronauts-in-training. But the truth is, the three clients who pay on this flight – Stibbe, Pathy and Connor – were not selected from the group of thousands of applicants and did not dedicate most of their lives to the endeavor.
Axiom itself has been very active about word usage in the past.
What will they do when they are in space?
Each of the team members has a list of research projects they plan to work on.
Connor does some research on how space travel affects mature cells, cells that have stopped the normal copying process and “linked to many age-related diseases,” says Axiom. That research will be done in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic.
Among the items on Patti’s to-do list is some additional medical research that focuses more on children’s health, which she will conduct in conjunction with several Canadian hospitals, as well as some safety-awareness efforts.
Axiom said Stebe would do some research and focus on “educational and artistic activities that connect the younger generation in Israel and around the world.” A space academy named after Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who died in the 2003 space shuttle Colombia disaster, is a non – profit – Stebe flies on behalf of the Ramon Foundation.
During off-peak hours, crews will have the opportunity to experience panoramic views of the Earth. Also, at some point, they will share food with other astronauts on board. Their food was prepared in collaboration with renowned chef and philanthropist Jose Andres. Their dishes “lean on the flavors and traditional cuisine of Commander Lopez-Alegre’s native Spain,” says Axiom.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”