Axiom Space-1 (Falcon 9)
8 April 2022
Launch Complex 39A
Kennedy Space Center

A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched Axiom Space’s Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center at 11:17 a.m. on 8 April 2022. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Axiom Space's Ax-1 mission is the first all-private human spaceflight mission to the International Space Station. The crew consists of former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria who now works for Axiom Space, along with paid astronaut-tourists Larry Connor as the pilot, and Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy as Mission Specialists. The Ax-1 crew will participate in educational outreach and perform contracted science experiments and commercial projects while living on the orbiting laboratory for nine days. At the end of their mission, they will undock inside the Dragon spacecraft Endeavour, reenter Earth's atmosphere, and parachute to a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

This will be the fifth flight for this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously supported launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, and one Starlink mission. The Dragon spacecraft, Endeavour, supporting this mission previously flew the Demo-2 and Crew-2 missions.

Images of the Axiom-1 launch seen through midday glare, bad lighting, and heat distortion.
A sequence of images showing first and second stage separation along with thruster firings of the first stage beginning its maneuvering for landing.
The large upper blob is the exhaust plumes from the first stage maneuvers. The smaller blob below is the second stage carrying the Dragon spacecraft to orbit.
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