SpaceX and Axiom Space made history when they launched the first all-private human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 8th. A flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 11:17 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex-39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida to launch Axiom's AX-1 crew aboard Crew Dragon Endeavour. They arrived to the ISS on April 9 after a 21-hour journey.
AX-1 crewmembers Commander Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy, are currently conducting science research at the orbiting laboratory to help advance human spaceflight. Axiom has been providing daily updates on the crew members onboard the ISS from their mission control center at its headquarters in Houston, Texas, and publishing videos on their YouTube channel. The AX-1 crew is scheduled to return next week after 8 days at the ISS [time pending]. During their time in space, Axiom shared the crew is expected to complete 25 experiments. Space Center Houston hosted a special space-to-ground video call with local students with the AX-1 astronauts on April 13th. Some of the research AX-1 is working on is in partnership with multiple institutions.
ICYMI: the #Ax1 astronauts answered questions from Houston-area students @SpaceCenterHou earlier today, including this question about free time onboard @Space_Station.— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) April 13, 2022
Rewatch: https://t.co/ROYSpJFkWw pic.twitter.com/9cV9qQU4m0
AX-1 Pilot Larry Connor is an entrepreneur, non-profit activist investor who made history as the first private Dragon pilot to reach the ISS and the first human to reach the deepest ocean depths and outer space within one year. "Connor is carrying out several research projects aboard the ISS to better understand aging and heart health in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic," said Axiom in a mission update, "Connor also spoke with students to foster interest in STEAM and space careers from the Dayton Early College Academy, a public charter school in Ohio serving 1,300 students, K-12, who live in Dayton's most underserved communities."
AX-1 mission specialist Mark Pathy is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who made history as Canada’s 2nd private astronaut and the 12th Canadian to ever travel to space. "Pathy spoke with students from the Wikwemikong Pontiac School, a first nation education school serving students for the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve. Pathy explained how drinking water is processed on the ISS and what happens to your organs and blood when moving in an environment without gravity." You can watch the video of the AX-1 crew speaking to the students from the ISS in the video linked below. Commander López-Alegría answered some questions in English and Spanish from the Houston-based kids.
The crew is also testing a holoportation technology which is a new type of 3D imaging technology that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed and projected in augmented reality, like a hologram. "Pathy successfully completed the third and final session of holoportation by evaluating the use of augmented reality technology to create a holo-presence of the crew on Earth and its Earth-based counterpart back up to space," said Axiom representatives, "This behavioral support activity can immediately improve the ISS crew member’s feeling of connectedness to loved ones and confidants on Earth."
AX-1 Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe served as an Israeli Air Force pilot for more than four decades and made history as the 2nd Israeli to ever visit outer space. Stibbe participated in a space observation experiment (ILAN-ES) to study the electrical phenomena above thunderstorms, known as Transient Luminous Events. He photographed a lightning storm over Darwin, Australia, from the Space Station's large Cupola window. Stibbe is following instructions from the Rakia Mission Control Center in Tel Aviv, Israel.
VIDEO: AXIOM AX-1 CREW SPEAK WITH TEXAS STUDENTS FROM THE ISS
Featured Image Source: SpaceX