Axiom-1 to depart from ISS today after extra days in space


Four crew members of the first fully private space tourism mission to the International Space Station (ISS), Axiom-1, are set to head home today. The space tourists have gotten several extra days on the ISS for their money, with their departure from the space station being delayed due to bad weather. There have been poor weather conditions in the splashdown zone off the Florida coast, so the departure of the mission was pushed back several times until the weather cleared.

Now, with the weather around Florida looking clear, the crew is set to depart from the station and splash down tomorrow afternoon.

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter. Endeavour carried four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pilot Larry Connor, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, to the International Space Station for several days of research, education, and commercial activities. NASA

“The four-member private astronaut crew is scheduled to undock from the space station at 6:35 p.m. ET Saturday, April 23, to begin the journey home, with splashdown off the coast of Florida targeted for about 1:46 p.m. Sunday, April 24,” NASA wrote in an update. “The integrated teams at Axiom Space, NASA, and SpaceX have agreed on the adjusted return plan based on weather for splashdown of the first private astronaut mission to visit the orbital laboratory and the return trajectory required to bring the crew and the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft back to Earth safely.”

Before they leave, the crew will spend their final day on the station packing up their belongings, preparing for their flight home, and taking final photos from the spacecraft’s cupola window.

There will be a livestream of the mission’s departure from the ISS available, showing both the closing of the hatch between the space station and the Crew Dragon and, two hours later, the undocking of the Crew Dragon. You can watch the livestream via NASA’s website.

If you’d like to watch the Crew Dragon splash down off the Florida coast, then Axiom will be showing a livestream of that event as well. Coverage will begin on Sunday, April 24, at 12:45 p.m. ET and will be available on the Axiom website.

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