(Washington) The first all-private space mission, consisting of three businessmen and a former astronaut who left aboard a SpaceX rocket, arrived early Saturday morning at the International Space Station (ISS) where it will remain for more than a week.
Posted at 12:22 PM
All smiles, often gorgeous in their black and blue uniforms, Ax-1 mission commander, Spanish-American Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian Mark Pathy, American Larry Connor and Israeli Eitan Steppe emerged one by one from the SpaceX Dragon capsule.
They were greeted with hugs from the International Space Station crew members and camera flashes.
Larry Connor said he was “delighted and honored” to be involved in the experiment but also recognized the “responsibility” of this first mission made up of “civilians”, in preparation for a “busy week of research.”
Eitan Stipe insisted on speaking “Hebrew on the International Space Station,” and Mark Bathy described the adventure as “incredible.”
Michael Lopez Allegria, a 63-year-old former NASA astronaut, is now an employee of the company Axiom, which organized the flight, and has visited the International Space Station before.
The other three crew members paid tens of millions of dollars each for the experience.
The leading role is occupied by Larry Connor, president of a real estate company.
Mark Bathy is the president of an investment firm and former pilot Eitan Stipe is the co-founder of an investment fund.
Beginners have already visited the space station, especially in the 2000s. Last year, Russia sent a camera crew there, and then a Japanese billionaire. But these missiles flew on board Soyuz rockets accompanied by astronauts.
Axiom Space bought the transportation from SpaceX and paid NASA to use its station.
The four men have a busy schedule, with about 25 trials on aging, heart health, and even stem cells.
Axiom Space has a total of four missions agreement with SpaceX, and NASA has already formally approved the second Ax-2 principle.
For Axiom Space, this is the first step toward an ambitious goal: to build its own space station.
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