NASA clears Axiom group for a first private mission to ISS

NASA clears Axiom group for a first private mission to ISS

The astronauts sending off with the first private crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) one year from now have cleared all their medical evaluations.

NASA and its international partners approved the four-person crew for Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), which is planned to launch on Feb. 28, 2022. The Ax-1 team incorporates Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, as per a statement from NASA. The crew was supported by NASA and the Multilateral Crew Operations Panel, a coalition of five international space agencies that concludes who flies to the International Space Station and each crew member’s role for the mission.

“We’ve made great progress on our 1st private astronaut mission with @Axiom_Space to @Space_Station! Axiom Mission 1 astronauts Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe cleared medical evals and are approved by the Multilateral Crew Operations Panel,” Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, said in a tweet.

Getting approval from the Multilateral Crew Operations Panel and passing medical evaluations represent significant achievements in sending the first private astronaut mission to the orbiting lab, as per the NASA articulation.

Connor will serve as the Ax-1 pilot, López-Alegría will be mission commander and Pathy and Stibbe will be mission specialists. López-Alegría is Vice President of Axiom Space and a former NASA astronaut who has traveled to space four times previously, including directing ISS Expedition 14. Connor is an American entrepreneur and non-profit activist investor. Pathy is a Canadian businessman and philanthropist, and Stibbe is an investor and previous Israeli Air Force pilot.

The crew will be participating in microgravity experiments during their eight-day mission on board the ISS. A total of 25 experiments will focus on science, education and effort, including research for the effect of space travel on senescent cells and heart health. Some of the planned research projects stem from Connor’s long-term partnerships with Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, as per Axiom.

Recently, NASA additionally gave the go-ahead briefly Axiom crewed mission to the space station. That flight, known as Ax-2, is presently meaning to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida between in late 2022 or mid 2023. Axiom has contracted with SpaceX to launch four crewed missions to the ISS using Crew Dragon capsules and Falcon 9 rockets.

Ax-1 is part for the Houston-based organization’s long-term plan to grow access to low Earth orbit; Axiom is one of a few organizations attempting to assemble a commercial space station to succeed the ISS.

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