SpaceX’s Axiom Space Ax-1, 1st all-private mission, docks at International Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission, the first all-private charter mission into space, docked at the International Space Station on Saturday.

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The Dragon spacecraft, which launched from Kennedy Space Center launchpad 39-A on Friday, successfully docked with the ISS shortly before 8:30 a.m. EDT. Crew members later climbed from the spacecraft and entered the ISS.

The launch was the first private charter flight to the orbiting lab, according to The Associated Press. The four-person crew, including a former NASA astronaut serving as a chaperone, is expected to spend eight days at the ISS, Space.com reported. The three private citizens paid $55 million each to be part of the mission, the AP reported.

The crew included commander Michael Lopez-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut who is now an Axiom employee; Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe; Canadian investor Mark Pathy; and Ohio-based real estate magnate Larry Connor, according to CNN.

The crew trained for more than 1,000 hours to prepare for the mission, according to WFTV. It was the fifth flight for the Falcon 9 first-stage booster and the third for this particular Dragon capsule, according to the television station.

Visit the Axiom Space Twitter account and Axiom Space for live updates on the mission.