SpaceX, Axiom-2 astronauts dock at International Space Station

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Four astronauts arrived at the International Space Station Monday morning after a Falcon 9 rocket launched the Axiom-2 mission from Kennedy Space Center on Sunday.

They docked around 9:15 a.m. Monday.


Sunday’s launch was Axiom’s second private mission to the ISS, but it’s the first with both private and government-sponsored astronauts.

Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi are Saudi nationals, and Barnawi is the first Saudi woman in space.

WATCH: Axiom Mission 2: 4 astronauts successfully head to space

“To the people around the world, the future is bright,” Barnwai said.

Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut and Axiom Space’s current director of human spaceflight, is leading the mission. Whitson has already spent more time in space than any other American – a total of 665 days.

The crew also includes pilot John Shoffner.

Read: NASA picks Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin for moon lander project

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Shoffner said. “It’s going to be an awesome experience.”

The crew will dock at the Space Station for eight days, performing more than 20 experiments on board the station.

The Ax-1 and Ax-2 missions are precursors to Axiom’s objective of building its own commercial space station. The first module will launch in 2025 or 2026.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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