Cape Canaveral, Florida (AP) — SpaceX escorts three wealthy businessmen and their astronauts to the International Space Station on Friday as NASA joins Russia and welcomes guests at one of the world’s most expensive tourist destinations. did.
This is the first private charter flight to SpaceX’s orbiting laboratory after carrying astronauts for NASA for two years.
Arrivals at the space station on Saturday are Americans, Canadians, and Israelis who run investment, real estate, and other companies. They pay $ 55 million per person for rocket rides and accommodation. All meals are included.
NASA finally began its activities after years of opposition to space station visitors.
“It was a hellish ride, and we look forward to the next 10 days,” said former NASA astronaut and Chaperone Michael Lopez-Alegria by reaching orbit.
The visitor’s ticket includes access to everything except the Russian part of the space station. Permission from the three astronauts on board is required. Three Americans and one German also live there.
Lopez-Alegria plans to avoid talking about politics and war in Ukraine while he is on the space station.
“I honestly don’t think it’s a nuisance, maybe just a little bit,” he said. He hopes that the spirit of collaboration will shine.
A private Axiom Space company has arranged a visit with NASA for three paying customers. Larry Connor in Dayton, Ohio operates the Connor Group. Mark Pathy, Founder and CEO of Mavrik Corp. in Montreal. Eytan Stibbe of Israel is a former fighter pilot and founding partner of Vital Capital.
Before the flight, their enthusiasm was clear. Upon arriving at the Kennedy Space Center launch pad, Stive danced a bit.
SpaceX and NASA have been positive about the risks of space flight, said Lopez Alegria, who spent seven months at the space station 15 years ago.
“I don’t think there is any ambiguity about what the danger is or what a bad day looks like,” Lopez-Alegria told The Associated Press before the flight.
NASA’s Kathy Lueders, head of space operations, said there’s a lot to learn from this first completely private station visit. “But this launch was a great start,” she told reporters.
Each visitor has a complete slate of experiments performed during their stay. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like being called a space traveler.
“They aren’t there to stick their noses to the windows,” said Michael Suffredini, co-founder and president of Axiom and former NASA space station program manager.
The three businessmen are the latest to take advantage of the open space for people with deep pockets. Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin will take customers to the edge of space in a 10-minute ride, but Virgin Galactic expects to begin flying customers on rocket vessels later this year.
Friday’s flight is Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s second private charter. Billionaire and his guests Last year it was on track for three days. SpaceX NASA Astronaut’s Fifth Flight You will arrive at the station in just a few weeks.
The axiom is targeting a second civilian flight to the space station next year. From 2024, Axiom will add its own room to the orbiting complex, and more customer trips will continue. Approximately five years later, the company plans to separate the compartments and form a self-contained station, one of several commercial outposts aimed at replacing space. When it retires and NASA shifts to the moon, the station.
On an adjacent pad during the launch on Friday: NASA New Moon RocketWaiting for the completion of the dress rehearsal for the summer test flight.
As a gift to the hosts of the seven stations, the four visitors feature paella and other Spanish dishes prepared by renowned chef José Andre. The rest of the time at the station will have to be a NASA freeze-dried meal.
The automated SpaceX capsule and its four passengers will make a splashdown off the coast of Florida, scheduled for April 19.
Connor respects Ohio’s sky and space heritage and brings a sample fabric for the Wright brothers’ 1903 Kitty Hawk flyer and gold leaf for the Apollo 11 Command Module at the Neil Armstrong Aerospace Museum in Wapaconeta.
Stebbe, the second Israeli in space, continues the thunderstorm experiment initiated by the first Ilan Ramon who died on the Shuttle Columbia in 2003. They belonged to the same fighter pilot squadron.
Stive carries a copy of the recovered page of Ramon’s Space Diary, a song composed by the son of Ramon’s musician, and a picture of the page dropped from the sky by his daughter.
“Being part of this unique crew is proof that you have no dreams out of reach,” he said.
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SpaceX launches three visitors to the space station for $ 55 million each | Associated Press
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