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SpaceX Launches 4 Private Astronauts to the ISS on Axiom Space Mission

By Rachel Jewett | April 8, 2022

The Ax-1 crew. Photo: SpaceX.

SpaceX launched an all-private astronaut crew to the International Space Station on Friday, marking the first such mission to the ISS. The mission is for Axiom Space, a company working to build a commercial space station and offer human spaceflight services. 

The Axiom Mission 1, or Ax-1, successfully docked with the ISS at 10:13 a.m. ET on Saturday, April 9. The crew traveled aboard SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavor spacecraft, which was launched by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. 

The crew includes commander Michael López-Alegría, pilot Larry Connor, and mission specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy. The crew members hail from Spain, the United States, Israel, and Canada. During their 10-day mission, they will spend eight days on the ISS conducting more than 25 scientific research and technology demonstrations. 

“We will usher in a new era in private human spaceflight when they cross the threshold to enter the ISS,” said Michael Suffredini, president and CEO of Axiom Space. “This journey is the culmination of long hours of training, planning, and dedication from the crew and the entire Axiom Space team, our partners at SpaceX, and of course, a credit to NASA’s vision to develop a sustainable presence in Low-Earth Orbit.” 

SpaceX previously launched the all-civilian Inspiration4 mission, which spent three days orbiting Earth on a Crew Dragon spacecraft last year.