First Commercial Space Flight Crew Returns to Earth

The first exclusively commercial crew to visit the International Space Station returned to Earth on Monday.

SpaceX’s Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) was brought to a close when astronauts Michael López-Alegra, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy returned to the Atlantic Ocean after they undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). 

The Dragon spacecraft which carried the first commercial crew to space undocked from the ISS on Sunday, after it delivered a crew of four and more than 200 pounds of supplies, including NASA experiments and gear to the space station.

The Ax-1 team spent 15 days in orbit and performed science experiments and technology demonstrations which include cancer cell growth research, a demonstration of a new air purifier for station use, and a study of autonomous tiles for future in-space construction applications.

Various teams collected scientific data from the Dragon spacecraft and brought it to the nearby Kennedy Space Center for further analysis.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, “The success of this first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station is an important step in opening opportunities for space travelers and achieving NASA’s goal of enabling commercial business off the planet in low-Earth orbit.”

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