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Unfavorable weather delays Axiom-1 splashdown

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — NASA and SpaceX have a agreed on a time for Axiom-1, the first all-private mission to the International Space Station, to attempt to undock and prepare for the return trip to Earth.

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Unfavorable weather conditions have forced the crew to extend their stay. Until the crew returns, NASA and Space-X won’t be launching Crew-4.

READ: ‘What a ride’: Axiom-1 becomes first all-private crewed mission to dock with ISS

Axiom-1 launched April 8 on what was supposed to be a 10-day mission, but the crew has yet to undock.

“The return of Axiom-1 is a moving target because the weather is really uncertain and very unsettled right now,” said Dr. Ken Kremer with Space UpClose.

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SpaceX and NASA need about 48 hours between the splashdown of Axiom-1 and the launch of Crew-4 to inspect the Crew Dragon that returned, to make sure everything worked well and that there’s no issues.

NASA announced plans late Wednesday for the Ax-1 crew to undock from the ISS at 8:35 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, April 23, with a splashdown off the Florida coast scheduled to take place at about 1:46 p.m. the following Sunday.

Final preparations for the Crew-4 mission are well underway. Teams just finished a dress rehearsal of launch day activities and successful completed a Falcon 9 static fire test.

The Dragon Crew departure from the space station will free up the docking port needed for the arrival of the Dragon Freedom and the Crew-4 astronauts.

The earliest possible launch opportunity for the Crew-4 mission is now set for Tuesday, April 26 at 4:15 a.m. with backup launch opportunities on April 27 and 28.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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