SpaceX Axiom astronaut launch: how and when to watch

SpaceX Axiom astronaut launch: how and when to watch

A private astronaut mission is scheduled to launch Thursday to the International Space Station. But unlike earlier such flights, none of the passengers are wealthy space tourists paying their own way to orbit.

Instead, three nations – Italy, Sweden and Turkey – are taking advantage of new commercial possibilities from government space programs to send astronauts to orbital outposts. For Türkiye, this will be the country’s first astronaut.

The private astronaut mission is the third for Houston’s Axiom Space, which is sending paying customers for a two-week stay aboard the International Space Station. In 2019, NASA opened its portion of the space station to visitors, a reversal from earlier policies. (Russia has hosted a series of space tourists on the International Space Station since 2001.)

Here’s what to know about Thursday’s launch.

The launch, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, is scheduled for 4:49 p.m. Eastern time Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch was scheduled for Wednesday, but SpaceX decided to push it back a day. “The additional time allows teams to complete prelaunch checkout and data analysis on the vehicle,” the company said.

Forecasts give an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions at the launchpad. If the launch is delayed, backup opportunities are available on Friday.

axiomatic And spacex Coverage of the launch will be streamed approximately two hours in advance. nasa television Will join coverage at 3:45 p.m.

Crew members include Alper Gezervasi, a fighter pilot with the Turkish Air Force; Walter Villadei, a colonel in the Italian Air Force; and Markus Wandt, a fighter and test pilot who previously served in the Swedish Air Force. Their governments have paid millions of dollars for each astronaut’s journey.

Mr Gezervasi will be Turkey’s first astronaut, who is expected to serve as an inspiration for future generations. “This space flight is not the destination of our journey,” he said during a news conference last week. “This is just the beginning of our journey.”

The mission’s pilot, Mr Villadei of Italy, has already been in space, but only for a few minutes. He was one of three members of the Italian Air Force who carried out the Virgin Galactic suborbital flight last June and conducted a series of experiments in biomedicine, fluid dynamics and materials science.

In 2022, Mr. Wandt applied to become an astronaut at the European Space Agency, but was not one of five people selected to become a full-time career astronaut. But he was selected as one of the “reserve” astronauts, who will remain at their current jobs but will be eligible for future missions.

When Axiom contacted Swedish officials about an available seat on this private astronaut mission, they agreed to purchase the tickets. ESA signed a one-year contract with Mr Wandt as a project astronaut and provided training for the mission.

The mission commander is Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut and now chief astronaut at Axiom. NASA requires that private astronaut missions be led by a former NASA astronaut. Mr. López-Alegría flew on three Space Shuttle missions and also spent seven months aboard the International Space Station from September 2006 to April 2007. He also commanded the first Axiom private astronaut mission in 2004.

If the mission launches on Thursday, it will arrive at the International Space Station at 5:15 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia flew two astronauts to the International Space Station on Axiom’s previous flight last year. During his mission he conducted many types of scientific experiments.

Similar to Sweden’s arrangement for Mr Wandt, Poland has an astronaut, Sławoj Uznanski, one of ESA’s reserve astronauts, who is in line for a future Axiom flight. The United Kingdom Space Agency has also signed a deal with Axiom to carry British astronauts into orbit.

The United Arab Emirates in 2019 purchased a flight on a Russian Soyuz rocket for one of its astronauts, Hazza Al-Mansouri, for an eight-day stay on the International Space Station. Axiom Space arranged a six-month stay on the space station for the second Emirati astronaut, Sultan Alnedi, in 2023.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− 4 = 1