UPDATE: SpaceX’s Axiom Space’s Ax-1 crew splashed down Monday afternoon near Jacksonville, completing the two-week mission.
The Ax1 crew and SpaceX Dragon safely splashed down at 1:06 p.m. EDT. In a statement, Axiom Space said that the “first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS) successfully demonstrated Axiom Space’s ability to integrate with the ISS and conduct meaningful research. "
The 17-day mission flew approximately 6.3 million miles, which is about 240 orbits of Earth, according to Axiom Space.
Splashdown! The #Ax1 astronauts have made a safe return to Earth in @SpaceX Dragon after completing the first all-private crew mission to the @Space_Station and paving a path for a future of innovation in low Earth orbit. https://t.co/2TtjUNKNDW— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) April 25, 2022
Read the original report below:
The first all-private mission to the International Space Station is homeward bound after a series of delays extended the mission by an additional week.
SpaceX’s Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission undocked from the ISS at about 9:10 p.m. EDT and began its 16-hour return flight, capping a two-week science mission “hailed as a milestone in commercial spaceflight,” Reuters reported.
The mission was brokered by the Houston, Texas-based startup Axiom Space and included Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut-turned-Axiom employee who is commanding the mission; Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe; Canadian investor Mark Pathy; and Ohio-based real estate magnate Larry Connor among its crew, CNN reported.
The three private citizens paid $55 million each to be part of the mission, the AP reported.
>> Related: SpaceX’s Axiom Space Ax-1, 1st all-private mission, docks at International Space Station
The Dragon capsule, dubbed Endeavour, is slated to parachute into the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Monday at around 1 p.m. EDT.
Unfavorable weather at the splashdown zone prompted the delay, Reuters reported.
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