Axiom Mission 1 (or Ax-1), set to lift off at 11:17 a.m. EDT (15:17 UTC) April 8, is the first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. Ax-1 is launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule.
During their eight-day stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, crew members Larry Connor, Michael López-Alegría, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe will engage in technology demonstrations and scientific experiments ranging from robotics to data modeling for future cancer research.
Today’s [tomorrow’s] launch coverage is led by Axiom Space, with support from NASA and SpaceX; NASA’s primary mission responsibilities begin during Endeavour’s approach to the International Space Station, the start of Ax-1 integrated operations. Learn more about NASA’s role in Ax-1 and how we’re working with our industry partners to open low-Earth orbit to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities: https://go.nasa.gov/3ubIqhP
Comment: You can watch this launch tomorrow right from the above embedded YouTube video… I hope. That still from the video is impressive enough with two different rockets on the pad. I still think the video of two Falcon boosters landing next to each other is one of the most impressive and inspiring space events I have see recently. But it still doesn’t approach the thrill of hearing Walter Cronkite narrating the first manned Moon landing over a transistor radio while laying on a pine covered hill watching the full Moon. I’ll cherish that moment always.
This looks like it might be worth a read….
Simon Ings reviews ‘The End of Astronauts’ for The Times of London:
I haven’t read the ‘The End of Astronauts,’ but I gather the main point is that robotics is the future of space travel and exploration. I have long held that view. Look at the Webb Telescope. That’s pure robotics and should prove to be a major leap in our exploration of space. BTW, I fully support exploration for exploration’s sake.
“and how we’re working with our industry partners to open low-Earth orbit to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities”
Are there any quotas or regulations about low earth orbit satellites or is this ‘colonize and claim’?
Just curious because if China was flooding low earth orbit w/satellites would scream about it. I’m fine with commercializing space. Just concerned about the longevity of satellites and what becomes of them when we stop using them. It kind of reminds me of how we used to dump garbage into the ocean because it was big and only stopped when we felt the impact.
Christian J. Chuba,
I know of no quotas or international agreements concerning LEO satellites, but there’s a lot of concern about crowded skies and space junk. Most LEO stuff eventually burns up as it de-orbits, some well preplanned, some not. I think the first space territorial dispute will be about the south polar region of the Moon.