Four Private Ax-1 Astronauts Enter Space Station, Meet Expedition 67 Crew

Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy are now aboard the International Space Station following Crew Dragon’s hatch opening at 10:13 a.m. EDT, Saturday, April 9. It is the first mission with an entirely private crew to arrive at the orbiting laboratory.

After a journey of almost 21 hours, Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy arrived at the International Space Station at 8:29 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 9. Crew Dragon Endeavour docked to the orbital complex while the spacecraft were flying about 260 miles above the central Atlantic Ocean.

Ax-1 Astronauts Enter Station

The 11-person crew aboard the station comprises of (bottom row from left) Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Denis Matveev, Kayla Barron, Oleg Artemyev, and station Commander Tom Marshburn; (center row from left) Axiom Mission 1 astronauts Mark Pathy, Eytan Stibbe, Larry Connor, and Michael Lopez-Alegria; (top row from left) Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Sergey Korsakov, Raja Chari, and Matthias Maurer. Credit: NASA

Dragon Endeavour’s docking was delayed approximately 45 minutes as the space station teams, including mission controllers at NASA and SpaceX, worked to troubleshoot an issue preventing the crew members on station from receiving views from Dragon’s center line camera of the Harmony’s modules docking port. Mission teams worked to route video using a SpaceX ground station to the crew on the space station allowing Dragon to proceed with docking.

Ax-1 SpaceX Dragon Endeavour Approaches ISS

The Moon is pictured (bottom left) as the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour approaches the station with four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts. Credit: NASA TV

Following Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, NASA astronaut and station commander Tom Marshburn pressurized the space in between the Dragon and station hatches and performed a leak check before opening the hatches to welcome the private astronaut crew.

Axiom Mission 1 astronauts Michael Lopez Algeria, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe docked to the zenith port of the Harmony module of the International Space Station on April 9, 2022, following a launch on April 8 on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The four crew members will conduct an eight-day mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory before undocking to return to Earth on April xx. This is the first spaceflight for Axiom Space and the first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

The Axiom crew are joining Expedition 67 crew members, including NASA astronauts Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsokov, and Denis Matveev.

 SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Ax-1 Mission Launch

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on the Ax-1 mission to the space station. Credit: SpaceX

When the Axiom Space Mission 1 (Ax-1) arrived at the International Space Station, it was the first mission with an entirely private crew to arrive at the orbiting laboratory. It represents both a culmination of NASA’s efforts to foster a commercial market in low-Earth orbit and a beginning of a new era of space exploration that enables more people to fly on more kinds of missions.

The Ax-1 crew will spend more than one week aboard the orbiting laboratory conducting science, education, and commercial activities.

Gallery of SpaceX Axiom Ax-1 Mission Launch Images

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