SpaceX, Axiom Space close in on 1st fully-private flight to International Space Station

SpaceX Falcon 9 static fire, crew dress rehearsal conducted Wednesday

SpaceX, Axiom Space close in on 1st fully-private flight to International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla – During a practice countdown, SpaceX test fired the engines of its Falcon 9 rocket ahead of Friday’s Axiom 1 launch.

Also on Wednesday, the first fully-private crew flying to the International Space Station conducted their dress rehearsal.

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Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria is a former NASA astronaut who now works for Axiom Space so his seat on the SpaceX Dragon is covered while his crew members, pilot Larry Conner, and mission specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy each paid $55 million to ride the rocket.

During prelaunch activities Wednesday, it was the first time in 13 years there were two rockets at Kennedy Space Center launch pads at the same time.

While Falcon 9 is at Pad 39a, NASA’S Space Launch System moon rocket is at Pad 39b.

A group of Rollins College students spent their Fox day, the annual surprise day off for students, photographing the two rockets at the Canaveral National Seashore.

‘’Just seeing this up close, you can see just the spectacle that it is,’’ Rafael Leon said.

And Addie Perez said the sight was historic.

‘’I always have been so interested and fascinated with rockets, with space exploration,’’ the Rollins student said.

Exploring the space station, the Axiom 1 crew says they’ll be working on science projects during their eight-day visit.

Liftoff is planned Friday morning at 11:17.

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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.