NASA, Axiom Space, SpaceX Delay Axiom Mission 1 Undocking From ISS Over Unfavourable Weather Conditions

Science

NASA has further delayed the undocking of the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) – the first private astronaut mission to ISS – from the International Space Station (ISS) due to bad weather conditions. The Expedition 67 and Axiom Mission 1 will have to spend extra hours aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for this reason. The delay is being done considering unfavourable weather at the splashdown location for the recovery of the Dragon Endeavour and the Ax-1 crew. NASA, SpaceX, and Axiom Space have collectively postponed the spacecraft’s planned departure from the orbiting laboratory during this integrated project. 

Kathy Lueders, Associate Administrator of the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA, tweeted, “We’re waving off tonight’s undocking of Axiom Mission 1 from International Space Station due to unfavourable weather conditions for return. The integrated NASA, Axiom Space and SpaceX teams are assessing the next best opportunity for the return of Axiom-1, the first private astronaut mission.”

The Ax-1 mission is the first-ever fully private crewed mission to the space station. Consisting of four-member, the mission was launched on April 8 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The crew is commanded by former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría and includes pilot Larry Connor and mission specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy.

Another tweet read, “We’ll continue to assess our operational dates, including for Crew-4’s launch, based on weather conditions as we take our operations step-by-step.”

NASA, in a blog post, had shared the earlier timings for the Axiom-1 crew’s departure. It read, “Weather permitting, the four-member private astronaut crew now is targeted to undock at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 19.”  The splashdown was supposed to take place off the coast of Florida around 3:24 p.m. EDT on April 20. However, due to weather conditions, this has been postponed.

In a recent update, NASA said, “The integrated NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX teams are continuing to assess the next best opportunity for the return of the first private astronaut mission to the orbiting laboratory based on weather conditions and space station operations.”

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