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Ax-1 private mission to space station: Live updates


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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