Four astronauts who will participate in a special mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in February 2022 have passed medical tests by NASA and the Multilateral Committee on Manned Operations, a coalition of five international space agencies that decides who can surrender to the International Space Station. What is the role of each member of the mission?
The crew of the Ax-1 mission, organized by Axiom Space, will consist of Larry Connor, who will be the pilot, Michael Lopez-Alegria, who will be the commander, and mission specialists Mark Pathy and Eitan Stipe. Takeoff is scheduled for February 28, 2022 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, powered by a Falcon 9 rocket.
Connor is an American entrepreneur and Lopez Allegria is a retired NASA astronaut and vice president of Axiom Space. Pathé is a Canadian philanthropist and Stipe is an investor and former pilot in the Israeli Air Force.
During their eight-day stay aboard the International Space Station, the astronauts will conduct a total of 25 microgravity experiments, focusing on science, education, and science awareness. It includes research on the effect of space travel on senescent cells and heart health.
This will be the first of four missions to the International Space Station that Axiom has contracted with SpaceX. Everyone will use Falcon 9 missiles and Crew Dragon capsules. The next mission, Ax-2, has already been approved by NASA and is expected to take off in late 2022 or early 2023.
Axiom is one of several companies working on a commercial space station to replace the International Space Station. The company also recently announced that it is developing its own spacesuits for extra-vehicular activities (EVA), the popular “spacewalk”. The new costumes are expected to be ready by 2024 and can be submitted to NASA for use on the International Space Station and the Artemis Return to the Moon program.
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