Docking will take place after lunch
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off yesterday from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marking the start of Axiom Space’s Ax-2 mission with four people.
After a successful launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket accelerated and then returned to the SpaceX-1 landing zone, which is located near pad 39A. The booster landed safely in place about seven minutes and 45 seconds after launch.
SpaceX’s Ax-2 Dragon spacecraft, called Freedom, separated from the Falcon 9 upper stage about 12 minutes after liftoff, as planned. The ship was commanded by former NASA astronaut and the first female ISS commander, Peggy Whitson, who has spent more time in space (665 days) than any other American or any other woman.
SpaceX spacecraft with tourists launched to the ISS
Ali Al-Qarni and Rayana Barnawi became the first Saudi astronauts to visit the ISS, while Barnawi became the first Saudi woman to ever go into space. The paid seat was taken by entrepreneur John Schoffner.
The spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS), with which it is scheduled to dock at 15:24 Moscow time on Monday, May 22.
During their eight-day stay on the space station, the Ax-2 crew members will live and work alongside the seven astronauts who currently reside on the ISS. They will conduct independent research. One Ax-2 experiment, organized by the Institute for Translational Space Health Research (TRISH), involves a series of tests and measurements of their own bodies.