NASA to preview partnered private astronaut launch with Axiom Space

March launch marks first time civilians launch from Florida

This Nov. 8, 2021 photo provided by The International Space Station pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour. The former head of the National Space Council tells The Associated Press, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022, that tensions in eastern Ukraine and heightened Western fears of a Russian invasion should not have a significant impact on the International Space Station or U.S.-Russia cooperation in space. (NASA via AP) (Uncredited)

As the first private astronaut mission launch from Florida nears, NASA experts will preview the launch during an update Monday.

The space agency and Axiom Space signed an order in May 2021 to partner for the mission that would send private astronauts to the International Space Station.

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The Axiom Mission 1, also dubbed Ax-1, will launch from Launch Complex 49A at Kennedy Space Center on March 30.

“During the 10-day mission, which includes eight days aboard the space station, the four-person multi-national crew will complete more than 25 research experiments developed for microgravity in collaboration with health and science organizations across the globe,” Axiom Space said in a release.

Eight tourists have gone to the space station before, but this would the first time station-bound civilians would launch from Florida.

Axiom Space astronauts are Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe.

Tom Cruise was originally expected to be on this mission to film a movie scene on the space station, but it was announced Cruise and his director would not be going to space for an extra year or two.

A second private astronaut mission that NASA and Axiom Space will be partnering on is set to launch later this year or spring 2023.

The live update will be streamed on Axiom Space’s Youtube channel Monday at 11 a.m.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.