Three businessmen and a former NASA astronaut landed in a SpaceX capsule off Florida this Monday after spending 15 days at the International Space Station as part of a private mission.
According to Agence France Press, the capsule had left the International Space Station (ISS) 16 hours earlier. The ship resisted a dizzying landing on the ground thanks to its thermal protection, and then huge parachutes slowed it down.
Organized by the American Axiom Space, the Ax-1 mission was the first completely private flight to reach the ISS.
The trip was supposed to take about a week, but unfavorable weather conditions kept the operation in orbit almost twice as long as planned.
Members of the Ax-1 mission include former astronaut Michael López Alegría and businessmen Larry Connor (USA), Mark Pathy (Canada) and Eytan Stibbe (Israel), who each paid $ 55 million for their participation in the mission, according to U.S. media. .
The Ax-1 crew conducted scientific experiments as well as training and commercial operations at EEI.
Axiom Space was established in 2016 with the aim of creating the first commercial space station, the first module of which is expected to launch in 2024.
Prior to the Axiom Space mission, SpaceX had already flown astronauts from NASA and European ESA to the International Space Station, replacing the long-haul Russian transport of the Soyuz spacecraft by the Russian space organization Roscosmos.
Roskosmos announced on April 2 that it would make “concrete proposals” on dates for ending ISS cooperation after Western partners refused to lift sanctions on Russian companies following Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.
On December 8, eccentric Japanese millionaire Yusaku Maezawa traveled to EEI for a 12-day stay thanks to a collaboration between Roscosmos and Space Adventures, an American company that sells exclusively Soyuz flights to the “home” of astronauts orbiting the Earth. .
The International Space Station is the result of a partnership between NASA, ESA, Roscosmos and the Canadian CSA and Japanese JAXA.