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Watch Axiom 1 take four people to space in the first private ISS flight

Published Apr 8th, 2022 7:12PM EDT
falcon 9 spacex reusable rocket booster
Image: AP Photo/John Raoux

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We’ve reached a momentous occasion in the journey to commercial space travel. Today, Axiom Space and SpaceX launched Axiom 1, the first private ISS flight. The flight, which includes the world’s first all-private astronaut team, took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center this morning around 11:17 AM EDT. It’s a historic moment for space travel, and yet another milestone in Axiom Space’s mission to commercialize space travel.

Axiom 1 is the first private ISS flight

The crew of Axiom 1 includes four members, all of which will spend eight days on the International Space Station. The team is made up of Commander Michael López-Alegría of Spain and the United States, Pilot Larry Connor of the United States, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe of Israel and Mark Pathy of Canada.

The crew will conduct more than 25 scientific and technological demonstrations during their time aboard the ISS. They’re expected to dock around 7:30 AM EDT on Saturday, April 9, 2022. The flight was made possible thanks to long hours of training, planning, and dedication to the future of Axiom’s space missions, Michael Suffredinin, president and CEO of Axiom Space said in a press statement.

The start of the future of space travel

A photo taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Image source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, F. Pacaud, D. Coe

The launch of Axiom 1 as the first private ISS flight is a huge deal. Not only does this mark yet another use of the Falcon 9 rocket. It’s also the third time that SpaceX has launched the Dragon Endeavor into space. Further, it’s important because of what it ultimately means for the future of space travel.

NASA has already shared that it wants commercial stations in space by the time it retires the ISS in 2030. So, seeing the first private ISS flight launch and then complete over the weekend is huge for progressing those plans.

The continued re-use of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Dragon Endeavor are also huge boons to the future of space travel. Previously, building one-time use equipment has increased the cost of missions. With re-useable equipment, we can cut the costs exponentially.

Of course, there’s still a long way to go before we’re all hopping in our spaceships and flying off to distant planets. But we can at least sit back and enjoy the historical moment that today brought for space fans everywhere. With the first private ISS flight now underway, the future of space travel for everyone is starting to look even brighter. Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating the launch of the Orion missions as NASA takes humanity back to the Moon.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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