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Ax-1 private astronaut mission docks at ISS

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Washington, April 9 (IANS) After a journey of almost 21 hours in the world’s first private space mission, Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) astronauts arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday.

Crew Dragon Endeavour docked to the orbital complex while the spacecraft were flying about 418 kms above the central Atlantic Ocean, NASA said in a statement.

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Dragon Endeavour’s docking was delayed approximately 45 minutes as the space station teams, including mission controllers at NASA and SpaceX, worked to troubleshoot an issue preventing the crew members on station from receiving views from Dragon’s centre line camera of the Harmony’s modules docking port.

“Mission teams worked to route video using a SpaceX ground station to the crew on the space station allowing Dragon to proceed with docking,” said NASA.

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The Ax-1 crew members includes Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria of Spain and the US, Pilot Larry Connor of the US, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe of Israel, and Mark Pathy of Canada.

They lifted off on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday.

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The crew was welcomed by Expedition 67 crew members, including NASA astronauts Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsokov, and Denis Matveev.

During their 10-day mission, the crew will spend eight days on the ISS conducting scientific research, outreach, and commercial activities. The crew has shared that they are bringing over 25 different scientific experiments to work on during their eight-day station stay.

–IANS

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