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Axiom space crew landed near Florida after extended stay on the ISS

SpaceX Dragon Endeavor carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the International Space Station on April 9, 2022.

SpaceX Dragon Endeavor has carried astronauts to and from the low-orbit space station.
Image: NASA

Members of the first private group of ISS astronauts have returned from their stay in space. Eearth orbit on Monday by parachuting into Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

Crew Dragon SpaceX with four Ax-1 Axiom Space crew members. missionand more than 200 pounds of science experiments and supplies departed the International Space Station at 9:10 pm ET Sunday. and landed back on Earth on Monday around 13:00 ET.

Axiom Cosmos Topor-1 team I arrived to the ISS on Saturday, April 9 and was originally planned to spend eight nights aboard the orbiting space station. However, due to adverse weather delays, they ended up staying on the ISS almost twice as long. Mission return has been delayed several times due to “extremely strong wind”, according at NASA.

View of the Crew Dragon during splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

View of the Crew Dragon during splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
A photo: Axiom Cosmos

“NASA and Axiom’s mission planning is prepared for the possibility of additional time on the station for private astronauts, and there is ample space aboard the space station for all 11 crew members,” the space agency wrote in a blog post. message. These additional nights spent on the ISS will not be added to the private astronauts’ bill as they we already included in the original cost of the trip.

“Knowing that International Space Station mission objectives, such as Russia’s recent spacewalk or weather issues, could cause undocking to be delayed, NASA contracted with a strategy that does not require reimbursement for additional undocking delays,” NASA spokeswoman Stephanie said. Shirholz. said spacenews.

However, a delay in undocking pushed back the launch NASA Crew-4 Mission to the ISS. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. was scheduled to launch to the space station on a Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday, April 23, but it was pushed until Wednesday, April 27th.

The crew made good use of the extra time in orbit. Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Eitan Stibbe, and Mark Paty continued to work on the valuable scientific research they packed with them to the ISS, including astronaut health data, a holoportation device, and a space helmet that studies brain impulses. . After landing on Earth, the science payload was flown to the nearby Kennedy Space Center for further study.

“The success of this first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station is an important step in opening up opportunities for space travelers and advancing NASA’s goal of providing off-planet commercial business in low Earth orbit,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. statement released shortly after splashdown in the Atlantic.

Axiom has signed a contract with SpaceX for three additional private astronaut flights to the ISS aboard Crew Dragon. But the space company is keeping the cost of these low-orbit flights under wraps, refusing to reveal how much each passenger pays for a seat on the SpaceX Dragon.

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