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All-Private SpaceX Astronaut Crew Departs to Earth Today After a Week of Delays

They are finally coming back home.

There’s something about coming back home that gets people of all ages very ecstatic. The same feeling could be felt in the astronauts that are coming down to earth after almost a week of getting delayed. The delay occurred due to unfavorable conditions but now the crew is on its way home.

So what exactly was this crew’s mission and what was so special about it? Today we talk about these things and also tell you how you can watch the whole process live in the comfort of your home.

Here is everything you need to know:

Mission AX-1

Mission AX-1 is a crewed mission to the International Space Station operated by Axiom Space located in Axiom’s Mission Control Center MCC-A in Houston, Texas. The mission is a privately funded one and the first-ever all-private mission.

The rocket used for this mission was the Falcon 9 Block 5 on the spacecraft Crew Dragon Endeavor. The crew size for the mission was 4 and the launch mass was reported to be 12, 519 kg or 27, 600 lb.

The crew’s mission for the first 12 days involved a tight schedule of 14 hours per day where they mostly carried out scientific research designed by many universities, hospitals, and companies. Other than that, they did conferences with students as a part of outreach events.

Details of the Crew

Among the four crew members, one is Michael López-Alegría, the commander of the mission who was an astronaut in NASA before turning into an Axiom employee. The second person is Eytan Stibbe, an Irish businessman, the third is the Canadian investor Mark Pathy, and the fourth crew member is Larry Connor, a real estate magnate based in Ohio.

Why the Delay?

The AX-1 mission launched on April 8 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and arrived at the ISS after a day’s journey. The mission was supposed to end in 11 days and the crew was supposed to depart from the ISS on April 19 however, due to unfavorable weather conditions at the location of the splashdown by the crew on earth, their departure was delayed for a few days.

The crew finally left the ISS on Sunday at 9:10 pm EST after being delayed again for 15 minutes due to communication issues ahead of their scheduled departure time of 8:55 pm EST.

How to Watch?

You can watch the undocking process as well as the departure of the AX-1 crew via the NASA app. You can also stream it live on NASA TV, on the agency’s official site as well as on YouTube.

The private companies SpaceX and Axiom Space will also be streaming their own live footage on their respective social media handles. The live coverage will consist of three procedures: hatch closure, undocking, and splashdown.

The crew will spend about 24 hours free falling before entering the earth’s atmosphere and will parachute down to the splashdown landing site off the coast of Florida at 1 pm ET on Monday.

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