A SpaceX capsule carrying three paying customers and a former NASA astronaut arrived at the International Space Station, finishing the first leg of this first-of-its-kind mission that will last about 10 days.
What is the mission?
- The Ax-1 mission, which was organised by Houston company Axiom Space, is flying on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour.
- Axiom Mission 1 (or Ax-1) is a private crew mission to the International Space Station (ISS), operated by Axiom Space out of Axiom Space’s Mission Control Center (or MCC-A) in Houston, TX. The flight launched on 8 April 2022, from Kennedy Space Center.
- Axiom Space was founded in 2016 with the goal of creating the world’s first commercial space station.
- Since 2001, Russia has been selling rides to the ISS to wealthy businessmen around the world. They travelled onboard the Russian Soyuz aircraft along with professional cosmonauts and NASA astronauts.
- Until 2019, NASA did not permit ordinary citizens to be launched into space from American soil. It finally reversed its stance, stating that the missions would help spur growth in the commercial space industry.
- Several other space companies, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, also plan to take paying customers to space in the near future.