NASA made sure the visitors were healthy enough to temporarily leave Earth, SpaceX provided the rockets, while Axiom made sure everyone was happy about the endeavor. The whole thing cost the three wealthy visitors a reported $55 million each, according to AP. Living together with astronauts, seeing our planet as almost nobody else, and staying up there for more than ten days might be worth it in the end.
The crew landed safely in a SpaceX Dragon capsule. The calm Atlantic Ocean welcomed the curious and passionate people. Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe will now recover for a couple of days before resuming their normal activity.
NASA’s now looking forward to allowing more visits to the ISS before it will come back to Earth in blazing glory. The destruction of the station is set to happen in a little under a decade. The Administration wants to focus on Moon, Mars, and other similar missions, so money coming from commercial flights in Earth’s lower orbit will ease the dependency on public funds.
NASA’s Bill Nelson was particularly happy about the event as he welcomed the Axiom crew by posting a message on Twitter. He called the event a “landmark mission.”
As we’ve previously reported, the explorers were supposed to remain on the ISS for only eight days. But delays and recalculations led to a longer vacation, 248 mi (400 km) above our heads.
Even though people are paying a lot of money to enjoy this unique experience, Axiom keeps saying that all this traveling is not tourism but research. They argue that visitors were taught to help MIT researchers with their projects.
The crew of the next mission will be revealed soon. They’re scheduled to blast off from the U.S. next year. Called Ax-2, this will give Axiom and SpaceX the chance to possibly build their own space station or kickstart a partnership in this direction.
Just imagine if you could actually pay for a space vacation via a popular traveling website. Wouldn’t it be amazing?
The #Ax1 crew and @spaceX Dragon safely splashed down at 1:06 p.m. ET,?Monday, April 25.— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) April 25, 2022
The crew’s arrival back home on Earth officially concludes the first all-private astronaut mission to @Space_Station.
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