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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

29 Jun 2023 Updated.

2 DK READ

39 Read.

SpaceX Mission Returns with Former NASA Astronaut and Paying Customers

A capsule successfully completed its weeklong SpaceX mission. Bringing back a decorated former NASA astronaut and three paying customers from the International Space Station.

This article highlights the significance of the all-private mission and its implications for the future of spaceflight.

Dubbed Axiom Mission 2 (AX-2), the mission was organized by Axiom Space. A Houston-based company, and marked the second all-private mission to the International Space Station.

Led by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, the AX-2 crew made history with their commercial-led endeavor.

Notably, this mission also saw the first woman from Saudi Arabia, stem cell researcher Rayyanah Barnawi, travel to space.

SpaceX Mission A Milestone for Private Spaceflight

AX-2 is part of a series of commercial missions aimed at promoting private sector involvement in spaceflight. Particularly in low-Earth orbit where the International Space Station resides.

By facilitating opportunities for private individuals to experience space travel, Axiom Space aims to make such SpaceX mission routine.

The company’s partnership with SpaceX has opened avenues for customers to reach the space station from US soil.

The AX-2 crew, including John Shoffner, an American entrepreneur, and two Saudi citizens, Barnawi and Ali AlQarni, spent eight days working alongside astronauts from NASA.

Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency aboard the space station.

Barnawi conducted stem cell research suitable for the microgravity environment. While AlQarni participated in outreach projects, capturing video footage and testing a kite in microgravity.

You may also like: The James Webb Space Telescope.

SpaceX Mission

Axiom Space aims to continue offering private spaceflight opportunities even after the retirement of the International Space Station. Also which is anticipated to occur in late 2030.

The company envisions creating a new privately owned space station, an effort supported by NASA. To enhance private sector involvement in space exploration.

The inclusion of government astronauts in future missions, alongside private individuals, is seen as a crucial component of Axiom’s business plan.

The return of the AX-2 crew from the International Space Station marks a significant milestone in the advancement of private spaceflight.

With a former NASA astronaut and paying customers on board. Also, this all-private SpaceX mission demonstrates the increasing involvement of commercial companies in space exploration.

As Axiom Space continues to pave the way for routine private space missions. Also, the future of spaceflight looks promising, offering more opportunities for individuals to experience the wonders of space.

SpaceX Mission Returns with Former NASA Astronaut and Paying Customers