First Private Astronaut Mission Docks at ISS

The SpaceX Dragon Capsule containing the first all-private crew, Axiom Mission 1 astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy, arrived at the International Space Station at 8:29 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 9. The spacecraft and station were flying 260 miles above the Atlantic Ocean during the docking procedure, which was delayed by 45 minutes due to troubleshooting the capsule’s centerline camera. The Axiom crew will join the Expedition 67 crew members already onboard the ISS, and spend more than a week in the orbiting laboratory.

The first all-private team of astronauts ever launched to the International Space Station (ISS) were welcomed aboard the orbiting research platform on Saturday to begin a weeklong science mission hailed as a milestone in commercial spaceflight.

Their arrival came about 21 hours after the four-man team representing Houston-based startup company Axiom Space Inc lifted off on Friday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, riding atop a SpaceX-launched Falcon 9 rocket.

The Crew Dragon capsule lofted into orbit by the rocket docked with the ISS at about 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) on Saturday as the two space vehicles were flying roughly 250 miles (420 km) above the central Atlantic Ocean, a live webcast of the coupling from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration showed.

The final approach was delayed for about 45 minutes by a technical glitch with a video feed used to monitor the capsule’s rendezvous with the ISS, but it otherwise proceeded smoothly.


April 9 (Reuters) – The first all-private team of astronauts ever launched to the International Space Station (ISS) were welcomed aboard the orbiting research platform on Saturday to begin a weeklong science mission hailed as a milestone in commercial spaceflight.

Their arrival came about 21 hours after the four-man team representing Houston-based startup company Axiom Space Inc lifted off on Friday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, riding atop a SpaceX-launched Falcon 9 rocket.Report ad

The Crew Dragon capsule lofted into orbit by the rocket docked with the ISS at about 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) on Saturday as the two space vehicles were flying roughly 250 miles (420 km) above the central Atlantic Ocean, a live webcast of the coupling from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration showed.

The final approach was delayed for about 45 minutes by a technical glitch with a video feed used to monitor the capsule’s rendezvous with the ISS, but it otherwise proceeded smoothly.Report ad

The multinational Axiom team, planning to spend eight days in orbit, was led by retired Spanish-born NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, 63, the company’s vice president for business development.

His second-in-command was Larry Connor, a real estate and technology entrepreneur and aerobatics aviator from Ohio designated as the mission pilot. Connor is in his 70s, but the company did not provide his precise age.

Rounding out the Ax-1 crew were investor-philanthropist and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe, 64, and Canadian businessman and philanthropist Mark Pathy, 52, both serving as mission specialists.

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