Ax-2 is two days away from launch
The Axiom 2 (Ax-2) mission is scheduled to launch on May 21 at 5:37 pm EDT (2137 GMT) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The expedition crew cannot contain their excitement ahead of the eight-day journey to the International Space Station (ISS).
Crew Commander Peggy Whitson is the first woman to lead a private space mission, following two commands of the ISS as a NASA astronaut. He said at a press conference on Tuesday (May 16).
The team included Saudi Arabian astronauts Rayana Barnawi and Ali Alkarni, private pilot John Shofner and Whitson. Alkarni plans to bring coffee and dates to the Saudis as he and Barnawai become the first two Saudi astronauts aboard the Orbital Complex. – Rob Lea
What to know about Axiom Space’s 2nd private ISS mission
Axiom Space still aims to launch its Ax-2 mission with SpaceX on Sunday (May 21) from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Want to learn more about the mission? Here’s what you need to know about Ax-2 and how it fits into Axiom Space’s ambitious plans for Earth orbit.
read more: Meet the 4 astronauts of SpaceX’s Ax-2 mission to Axiom Space
The Ax-2 team shares their excitement over the upcoming release
Four astronauts aboard Axiom Space’s upcoming Ax-2 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) held a virtual press conference on Tuesday (May 16) to discuss their upcoming space journey.
Ali Alkarni and Rayana Barnawi, members of Saudi Arabia’s first astronaut class, shared their excitement at being selected to represent their country as Ax-2 mission specialists send its first humans to the ISS. “We are truly honored and privileged to have you and to be a part of this amazing mission,” Alkarni said, adding that he and Barnawi are “very happy and excited for our mission and representing Saudi Arabia on this journey.”
Meanwhile, Ax-2 pilot John Shofner shared, “To say I’m excited to be here would be a gross understatement.” This was Shoffner’s first space flight.
Axiom Space’s Ax-2 mission is scheduled to launch on Sunday (May 21) at 5:37 pm EDT (2137 GMT) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch it live here, courtesy of NASA and SpaceX.
read more: Ax-2 private astronauts can’t wait for SpaceX’s May 21 launch to the space station
Related: Meet the 4 astronauts of SpaceX’s Ax-2 mission to Axiom Space
Axiom Space ‘Go’ X-2 was launched on 21st May
At the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) conference on Monday (May 15), mission managers from NASA, SpaceX and Axiom Space said the upcoming Ax-2 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is currently on track to launch as planned. Sunday, May 21 at 5:37 PM EDT (2137 GMT).
“Today we held a review where we brought together team members from Axiom Space, SpaceX and NASA to talk about the upcoming mission, and at the end of that review, the entire team voted ‘Go,'” said Ken Bowersachs, Associate. Administrator of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate.
The mission is the second private mission to the International Space Station. The first, Ax-1, launched on a SpaceX rocket in April 2022 and saw four private astronauts spend more than two weeks on the ISS.
read more: SpaceX is set to send the first Saudi woman into space aboard the private Ax-2 spacecraft