With the second completely private mission, a crew of four set off into space for around ten days. The crew started on Sunday aboard a "Dragon" capsule from the private space company SpaceX from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome in the US state of Florida, as the US space agency Nasa announced.
Former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, ex-racing driver John Shoffner, Saudi Arabian astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi and her colleague Ali Alqarni are expected at the International Space Station on Monday. They will stay there for around ten days as part of the so-called "Axiom 2" mission and carry out scientific experiments.
Ticket for around 50 million euros
The trip is organized by the private space company Axiom Space, in cooperation with NASA and SpaceX. According to media reports, the passengers each pay around 50 million euros for the trip. Founded in 2016 in Houston, Texas by former NASA manager Michael Suffredini and Iranian-American entrepreneur Kam Ghaffarian, Axiom Space sees itself as a future major player in the space market. It is planning its own commercial space station and has already been commissioned by NASA to build a commercial ISS module.
In April 2022, "Axiom-1" was the first completely private mission to the ISS. At that time, the Spanish-American astronaut Michael López-Alegría, the US entrepreneur Larry Connor, the Israeli entrepreneur Eytan Stibbe and the Canadian investor Mark Pathy flew to the ISS. There had already been individual space tourists on the ISS several times, but the "Axiom-1" mission was the first completely private crew.