NASA is gearing up to launch its first-ever space tourism mission to the International space station, on April 3rd, 2022.
The space agency is simply days off from launching its 1st private crewed mission, in which will we see three amateur astronauts trip the International space aboard the SpaceX Dragon ballistic capsule, which can start from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on April three, with the company’s Falcon nine rocket powering its trip to orbit.
Former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría will serve as commander on the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) alongside a trio of space tourists who reportedly paid around $55 million to travel to the space station and spend eight days at the off-Earth outpost where they will conduct “scientific research, outreach, and commercial activities,” per a recent NASA press release.
López-Alegría, who is now a vice president at Axiom Space, will be joined on the mission by Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy, American entrepreneur Larry Connor, and former Israeli Air Force pilot Eytan Stibbe, who has participated in hundreds of hours of training ahead of the upcoming launch, including test driving the Dragon spacecraft.
The International space station has been orbiting Earth for twenty-three years, but NASA has plans to retire the outpost in 2030. It may be succeeded by Axiom Space’s commercial space station or the Orbital Reef station, which is being inbuilt in low Earth orbit by Blue Origin in partnership with several space companies, including Boeing, Sierra space, and more.
The space tourism race is exacerbating, with additional and additional firms gearing up to supply commercial flights to space via various modes of transport.
World view declared last year that it had designed a 14-million-cubic-foot, helium-filled balloon capsule to send curious travelers to “the fringe of space” for $50,000 per price ticket.