Axiom space crew splashes out near Florida after extended stay on ISS

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavor carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the International Space Station on April 9, 2022.

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavor carried astronauts to and from the low orbit space station.
Image: POT

Members of the first completely private ISS astronaut team returned from their stay on low meorbit of Arth on Monday, parachuting toward the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon carrying the four crew members of Axiom Space’s Ax-1. missionplus more than 200 pounds of science experiments and supplies, departed the International Space Station on Sunday at 9:10 p.m. ET and landed back on Earth on Monday around 1:00 p.m. ET.

The axiom space Ax-1 team arrived on the ISS on Saturday, April 9th, and were originally scheduled to spend eight nights aboard the orbiting space station. However, due to inclement weather delays, he ended up staying almost twice as long on the ISS. The return of the mission was postponed several times due to “marginally strong winds”, according to NASA

A view of the Crew Dragon during splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

A view of the Crew Dragon during splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
Photo: axiom space

“NASA and Axiom’s mission planning has prepared for the possibility of additional time on station for private astronauts, and there are sufficient provisions for the 11 crew members aboard the space station,” the space agency wrote. on a blog. mail. Those additional nights spent on the ISS will not be added to the private astronauts account, as were already accounted for in the original cost of the trip.

“Knowing that International Space Station mission objectives, such as the recently conducted Russian spacewalk or weather challenges, could result in an undocking delay, NASA negotiated the contract with a strategy that does not require reimbursement for additional delays. in undocking,” NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said. said Space news.

However, the delay in undocking delayed the launch of NASA Crew-4 Mission to the ISS. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, were scheduled to be launched to the space station on a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday, April 23, but that was pushed to Wednesday, April 27.

The crew made good use of their extra time in orbit. Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy continued to work on valuable scientific research that they had brought with them to the ISS, including data on the health of astronauts, a holoportation device and a space helmet that studies the pulses of the brain. . . After landing on Earth, the science payload was taken to the nearby Kennedy Space Center for further investigation.

“The success of this first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station is an important step in opening up opportunities for space travelers and achieving NASA’s goal of enabling commercial off-planet business at low cost. Earth’s orbit,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement launched shortly after splashdown in the Atlantic.

Axiom has signed an agreement with SpaceX for three additional fully private astronaut missions to the ISS aboard Crew Dragon. But The space company keeps the cost of those low-orbit trips confidential and refuses to disclose how much each passenger pays for a seat on SpaceX Dragon.

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