Three businessmen and a former astronaut, who left Earth aboard a SpaceX rocket, arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) early Saturday morning.
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They were greeted with hugs and camera flashes. The first totally private space mission, made up of three businessmen and a former astronaut who left on a SpaceX rocket, arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) in the early hours of Saturday, April 9. They will remain there for a little over a week.
All smiles, thumbs often raised in his black and blue uniform, the Ax-1 mission commander, the American-Spanish Michael Lopez-Alegria, the Canadian Mark Pathy, the American Larry Connor and the Israeli Eytan Stibbe walked out one after another. . of the SpaceX Dragon capsule.
Michael Lopez-Alegria, a 63-year-old former NASA astronaut, is now an employee of the Axiom company that organized the trip. The other three crew members paid tens of millions of dollars each for the experiment. The role of pilot was filled by Larry Connor, the head of a real estate company. Mark Pathy is the head of an investment company and former driver Eytan Stibbe is the co-founder of an investment fund.
Rookies have already visited the space station, especially in the 2000s. Last year, Russia sent a film crew there, then a Japanese billionaire. But these flew aboard Soyuz rockets, accompanied by cosmonauts.
The four men on this first totally private mission have a busy schedule, with some 25 experiments on aging, heart health and even stem cells.
Axiom Space has reached an agreement for a total of four missions with SpaceX, and NASA has already formally approved the principle of a second, Ax-2. For Axiom Space, this is a first step towards an ambitious goal: the construction of its own space station.