May 23, 2022

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The all-private SpaceX astronauts' mission to return home from the International Space Station

The all-private SpaceX astronauts’ mission to return home from the International Space Station

The mission, called AX-1, was brokered by a startup based in Houston, Texas Axiom Space, which books rocket flights, provides all necessary training, and coordinates flights to the International Space Station for those who can afford them. The mission started another round of discussion about whether people who pay for their way into space should be referred to as “astronauts,” although it should be noted that a trip to the International Space Station requires a much greater investment of time and money than taking a short, semi-shoring trip. Orbital on a rocket built by companies like blue origin or Virgo Galaxy.

The four crew members – Michael Lopez Allegria, a former NASA astronaut turned Axiom employee who is leading the mission; Israeli businessman Eitan Stibi. Canadian investor Mark Pathy; Ohio real estate mogul Larry Connor — they are scheduled to leave the space station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on Tuesday around 10:00 p.m. ET.

They’ll spend the rest of the day aboard the 13-foot-wide capsule as it maneuvers back toward the edge of Earth’s thick atmosphere. They are scheduled to parachute into a landing gear aboard their spacecraft Wednesday afternoon, according to NASAweather conditions permitting.

The three paid clients completed about 15 weeks of pre-flight training. While they don’t have to worry about driving their spacecraft, since Crew Dragon is completely autonomous, they’ve undergone extensive study of capsule design, prepared for all kinds of emergency scenarios, and completed zero-gravity test flights to prepare them for space, just like professional astronauts do.

The crew arrived at the International Space Station about a week ago, where they were salute by the professional astronauts already on board, including three NASA astronauts, a German astronaut and Three Russian cosmonauts.
While on the space station, the group adhered to a strict schedule, which included around 14 hours a day of activities, including scientific reseach that was It has been designed by many research hospitals, universities, technology companies, and more. They also spent a fair amount of time conducting awareness events through video conferencing with children and students.
This is not the first time that customers or non-astronauts who visit the International Space Station have paid, as Russia has done Sold out seats On its Soyuz spacecraft to Various Wealthy Thrill Seekers in past years. Last year, for example, a Russian actress and camera crew visited the International Space Station to shoot part of a movie in a historical precedent.

But the AX-1 is the first mission with Crew composed entirely of private citizens with no active members of a government space corps on board during the flight to and from the International Space Station. It is also the first time that ordinary citizens have traveled to the International Space Station aboard a US-made spacecraft.

It is not clear how much this task will cost. Axiom previously revealed the price of $55 million per seat for a 10-day trip to the International Space Station, but the company declined to comment on the financial terms of this specific mission after saying at a press conference last year that the price was in the “tens of millions”.

The mission is made possible by close coordination between Axiom, SpaceX and NASA, since the International Space Station is government funded and operated.

The space agency revealed some details About how much it would cost her to use her 20-year-old lab.

Food alone costs $2,000 a day, per person, in space. Getting supplies to and from the space station for a commercial crew is $88,000 to $164,000 per person, per day. For each mission, getting the necessary support from NASA astronauts would cost commercial customers another $5.2 million, and all mission support and planning NASA lends is another $4.8 million.

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