First fully private mission to ISS docks successfully

Axiom Space

Axiom Mission 1 – the first fully private mission to the International Space Station (ISS) – arrived at its destination. 

Four astronauts reached the ISS, as the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked with the station at 12:29 UTC on April 9, 2022. 

The mission has been organized by Axiom Space, a company which aims to build additional modules for the ISS and eventually develop them into a separate space station. 

The crew consists of Larry Connor from the US, Eytan Stibbe from Israel, Mark Pathy from Canada and the commander Michael Lopez-Algeria, a seasoned Spanish-American astronaut who has already performed four space flights with NASA. 

While the three passengers paid $55 million each for the flight, Axiom claims the mission is not a touristic one. According to the company’s press release, the astronauts will perform over 25 research experiments, spending eight days onboard the ISS. 

Initially an American actor Tom Cruise and a director Doug Liman were planned to be on this flight, with the aim of filming a film scene in space. However, the composition of the crew has been changed. Cruise and Liman are now expected to reach the ISS later in 2022. 

This is the sixth crewed flight of the Crew Dragon, a reusable spacecraft built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. A capsule called Endeavour was used, performing its third spaceflight. 

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