The space tourists team will be led by a former NASA astronaut who now works in a private
“This is the first private flight to the Internationalspace station (ISS). This has never been done before, ”said Axiom CEO and President Mike Suffredini, former NASA program manager for the space station.
While mission commander MichaelLopez-Alegria is well known in space circles, "The other three guys are just people who want to be able to go into space, and we provide that opportunity," Suffredini told the Associated Press in an interview.
The first crew will spend eight days at the space station, and it will take one or two days to get there aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule after taking off from Cape Canaveral.
This combination of photos provided byAxiom Space in January 2021, with Larry Connor, Michael Lopez-Alegria, Mark Pati and Eitan Stibbe shown on the left. On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Axiom announced that it would become the first crew of a private space station, one year ahead of its scheduled launch.
Other space companies like VirginGalactic Richard Branson and Blue Origin Jeff Bezos, plan to accept paying customers for flights lasting only a few minutes. These trips - much more affordable, with places costing hundreds of thousands versus millions - could begin this year.
Axiom's first clients include Larry Connor,a real estate and technology entrepreneur based in Dayton, Ohio, Canadian financier Mark Pati and Israeli businessman Eitan Stibbe, a close friend of Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, who died in the 2003 Columbia spacecraft crash.
According to him, each of these first tourists to the ISS intends to conduct scientific research in orbit, as well as conduct educational activities.
According to Suffredini, each of the privatethe astronauts had to undergo medical examinations and 15 weeks of training. Connor, 70, will become the second oldest person to fly into space after John Glenn's space shuttle flight in 1998 at the age of 77. He will also serve under the command of Lopez-Alegria as a capsule pilot.
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