‘Opening a new era:’ Crew of 1st all-private flight to International Space Station talks Axiom 1 mission

SpaceX, Axiom Space targeting Wednesday for launch, pending NASA SLS test

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Next week, four men who do not work for the government are planning to participate in a launch to the International Space Station, marking the first ISS mission with an entire crew of private astronauts.

The Axiom Space Mission 1 crew took part in a news conference Friday ahead of their historic launch, scheduled for April 6.

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Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria said Ax-1 will open a new era in human spaceflight “to bring working, living and research in space to a much broader and more international audience.”

The former NASA astronaut is joined by a trio of tycoons who each paid $55 million for their seats on a SpaceX Dragon—Mark Pathy from Canada, Colonel Eytan Stibbe, a veteran of the Israeli Air Force, and Larry Connor, of Ohio, who is also a pilot.

‘’We’re going to do some 25 different experiments encompassing over 100 hours of research,’’ Connor said.

The mission will involve eight days on the station, where they will join the astronauts there now.

‘’Full slates of activities—health sciences, education and technologies, the environment,’’ Pathy, an AX-1 mission specialist, said.

Following the first flight, Axiom plans to offer crewed flights to the space station as often as twice per year.

And later, Axion has plans to build its own space station.

‘’Do more and more in space, and of course, the growth of the economy in low-Earth orbit it very important to us,’’ CEO Michael Suffredini said.

The launch at pad 39A is currently planned for Wednesday, April 6, but it all depends on the results of the testing planned this weekend on a NASA rocket, the Space Launch System, on pad 39B.

Stick with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on possible schedule changes.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.