As part of the space tourism project, NASA sent a team of 4 people to the ISS (International Space Station), for the first time in history. Although the launch was delayed 5 times for various reasons, it was successful yesterday. The Falcon 9 rocket managed to land safely for the 5th time after leaving the Crew Dragon spacecraft. After a 20-hour journey, the civilian astronauts successfully docked at their destination.
NASA’s Ax-1 space tourism project succeeded: Civilian astronauts stepped onto the ISS!
Interest in space tourism projects is increasing day by day. The first to open the door of this sector was Russia, which sent billionaire businessman Dennis Titov into space in 2001. In fact, it is known that a film crew shot various shots in the ISS last year.
Then, Russia shared with the public its efforts to monopolize the industry with 2 new Soyuz MS vehicles that will come off the production line by 2024. But the US side, especially NASA and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, is quite ambitious in this regard. Because, although it was postponed 5 times in the past weeks due to some negative reasons, the Ax-1 (Axiom first launch) mission was successfully completed yesterday.
The successful launch, organized by Jeff Bezos’s aerospace research company Blue Origin—including William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in Bezos and Star Trek movies—and crossed the Karman Line for a few minutes, comprised of civilian passengers. it was only the beginning.
Civilian astronauts crossed the atmosphere with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which has now become the most reliable in the industry, of which Elon Musk is the CEO. Then, by traveling for 20 hours with the Crew Dragon spacecraft, also made by SpaceX, they reached the International Space Base and successfully docked. Unlike Bezos’ same-cost mission, they will stay in space for the next week, not just a few minutes.
The 4-person private astronaut task force of the Ax-1 mission, organized by Texas-based Axiom Space, consists of Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy, American entrepreneur Larry Connor, former Israeli Air Force pilot Eytan Stibbe and a former NASA mission commander Michael López-Alegría.