Elon Musk’s Ax-1 mission makes space history after arriving at the ISS

Elon Musk's Ax-1 mission makes space history after arriving at the ISS. image: NASA

Arriving safely at the International Space Station, Elon Musk’s Ax-1 mission makes space history

The Ax-1 space mission made history this Saturday, April 9, becoming the first completely private mission to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS). After completing the necessary tasks to abandon their spacecraft, all four astronauts were welcomed aboard.

Their capsule arrived and docked autonomously to the space-facing port of the ISS Harmony at 12:40pm GMT, after travelling onboard the Dragon Endeavour. The four astronauts flew courtesy of the Axiom company, and are from different countries.

Michael Lopez-Alegria is a Hispanic-American, Larry Connor is American, Mark Pathy from Canada, and the Israeli Eytan Stibbe.

Everything went as planned with the historic trip, except for a one-hour delay in arrival, and problems with the live camera feed that prevented spectators on the ground from seeing the final leg of the trip from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX, owns the ships used by the Ax-1 – a Falcon 9 rocket, and the Dragon Endeavor capsule – but Texan company Axiom is responsible for the expedition.

The Falcon 9 rocket that propelled the Dragon spacecraft into space had lifted off at 3:17pm GMT on Friday, April 8, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

These four crew will spend more than a week on the ISS conducting research of various kinds on the space station. On their return trip, the capsule will splash down at one of seven points established for it in waters near Florida.

Once aboard the ISS, the Axiom crew was greeted by Expedition 67. This is a team made up of NASA astronauts Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chariy, and Kayla Barron, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurery, and Russian Roscosmos astronauts, Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsokovy, and Denis Matveev. In total, there are  11 astronauts on board.

On Friday 8, US space agency administrator Bill Nelson called the Ax-1 launch “historic”, and said NASA’s partnership with private companies through commercial cargo and crew programs has led the United States to “this new era in human spaceflight”.

Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space, congratulated the four astronauts. He noted that “this journey is the culmination of long hours of training, planning, and dedication from the crew and the entire team at Axiom Space, our partners at SpaceX and, of course, a credit to NASA’s vision of developing a sustainable presence in low Earth orbit”, as reported by 20minutos.es.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com