First-Ever Space Tourism Trip To ISS Is Launching Today Here’s How to Watch

First-Ever Space Tourism Trip To ISS Is Launching Today Here’s How to Watch

Today, April 8, the first all-private crewed trip to the International Space Station (ISS) is set to launch. This is NASA’s first-ever space tourism trip to the ISS, which will be operated by Axiom Space and launched on a SpaceX rocket. You can watch it all unfold in real-time right here. The 10-day trip, which includes eight days on the ISS, might signal a shift in space research, especially since Russia decided to stop cooperating on the ISS. Private enterprises such as Axiom, which wants to build its own commercial space station once the ISS is decommissioned, are hoping to cash in.

SpaceX has already carried many astronauts to the International Space Station and launched its own all-civilian space mission, but this is the first time it has taken paying guests to the station. Crew Dragon Endeavour, which previously delivered the Crew Dragon Demo-2 and SpaceX Crew-2 flights to the ISS, will carry out the journey to and from the ISS. During their eight days on board, the four members of the Axiom-1 mission, which include former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegra (now vice president of Axiom) and three space tourists who paid a reported $55 million each to travel off-Earth, will conduct 25 experiments, including the world’s first in-space demonstration of two-way holoportation.

López-Alegra will be the first person to command both a civil and a commercial human spaceflight mission, having last visited the ISS in 2007. As part of a partnership between NASA, SpaceX, and Axiom, the launch window will open at 11:17 a.m. ET (3:17 p.m. UTC) and will be televised live online. You may see it here.

17 NOVEMBER 2021, HOUSTON – Axiom Space, a pioneer in human spaceflight and human-rated space infrastructure, released today the findings of its groundbreaking Ax-1 mission, which is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in February 2022. The multinational crew of four private astronauts, led by Axiom’s Michael López-Alegra, will pioneer a new phase of microgravity utilization among non-government entities on the first fully private mission to ever visit the ISS, laying the groundwork for a full realization of low-Earth orbit’s possibilities and bringing critical findings back to Earth.

“Humanity has only scratched the surface of low-Earth orbit’s potential for breakthrough innovation,” said Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space. “Axiom was founded to push that envelope – first with private astronaut missions to the International Space Station, then with the launch and operation of the world’s first commercial space station, and eventually with the creation of a rotating city in space and scaled human presence in orbit.” 

“We congratulate the Ax-1 crew on their dedication to furthering scientific study and initiating this civilizational leap. We’re certain that this trip will mark not only a watershed moment in space exploration, but also the genuine start of bringing space’s potential for significant discovery to private people and organizations for the first time.”