The private mission of SpaceX Ax-1 took off from International Space Station this Friday morning. Ax-1 is the abbreviation for Axiom-1, the first manned flight for Axiom Space, which has major plans to succeed the ISS and operate the commercial space station in orbit of the same name.
SpaceX: the first private space mission is underway
Although the three future astronauts all have careers as entrepreneurs and investors, they also plan to conduct a wide range of experiments ranging from cancer research to self-assembling robots.
SpaceX has sent astronauts from various national space agencies around the world to the ISS and has also launched a private crew on an orbital journey for billionaire Jared Isaacman’s Inspiration4 mission, but this is the first time a Crew Dragon will carry paying passengers on the ISS.
The crew of the Ax-1 consists of Lopez-Joy, American real estate investor; the pilot and adventurer Larry Connor; the investor and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe; and the Canadian entrepreneur and executive Mark Pathy.
Axiom hopes to send private and professional astronauts to the ISS at least twice a year as it prepares to launch its own space station modules, currently scheduled to connect to the ISS by 2024. When the ISS retires in 2031, the The Axiom station will separate to become its own space station dedicated to private launches.