HomeNewsPrivate Astronaut Team Launches to Space Station

Private Astronaut Team Launches to Space Station

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Cape Canaveral, 9 April 2022 (TDI): A SpaceX rocket ship launched on Friday carrying the first all-private astronaut team ever launched to the International Space Station.

The industry executives and NASA welcomed the flight as a breakthrough in the commercialization of spaceflight.

Axiom Space selected a four-man team for its debut spaceflight and orbital science mission. It is a private space company that aims to “create a thriving home in space that benefits every human, everywhere.” The rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Furthermore, Axiom Space showed the launch in a live video webcast. Launch webcast commentator Kate Tice described the liftoff as “absolutely picture-perfect.” Meanwhile, the retired NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria is leading the team inside the rocket.

Moreover, SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, directed the mission control from its headquarters near Los Angeles.

NASA is responsible for furnishing the launch site. Moreover, it will be responsible for the astronauts once they engage with the space station. They will spend eight days of science and biomedical research while in orbit.

The rocket is a 25-story-tall SpaceX launch vehicle. It consists of a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped by its Crew Dragon capsule. Afterward, the rocket’s upper stage delivered the crew capsule into its preliminary orbit. Meanwhile, the rocket’s reusable lower stage detached from the rest of the spacecraft and flew itself back to Earth. It safely landed on a platform floating on a drone vessel in the Atlantic.

Commercialization of Low-Earth Orbit

The mission was a collaboration among Axiom, SpaceX, and NASA. They hailed the mission as a major step in the development of commercial space ventures. Such space ventures are known as the Low-Earth orbit economy or “LEO economy”.

NASA chief Bill Nelson said, “We’re taking commercial business off the face of the Earth and putting it up in space”. In addition, he said that the shift enables NASA to focus more on sending humans back to the moon, to Mars, and on other deep space exploration.

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