On Sunday night, Axiom Space, SpaceX and NASA sent the all-private crew of the Ax-1 mission Earthbound.
That crew — comprised of Commander Michael López-Alegría, Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy — departed the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule at 9:10 p.m. EDT, according to the mission timeline.
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It’s the same capsule that carried the four astronauts to the ISS April 8 for what would have been eight days of scientific experiments, yet unfavorable weather conditions back at home have already postponed the undocking and splashdown of the Ax-1 mission multiple times.
According to the current timeline, the capsule will return to Earth via splashdown off the Florida coast around 1 p.m. Monday.
“We wish the Axiom 1 crew God speed,” said Tom Mashburn, Crew-3 pilot. “Thanks Mike, L.A. for your leadership as well as commander of the Axiom 1 mission. Safe travels and I hope you have a soft splashdown and calm seas when you get back home.’’
Back on the ground, the next team of Commercial Crew astronauts, CREW 4, is prepping to launch.
NASA says it won’t launch Crew-4 until two days after Axiom 1 comes home.
SpaceX said the Crew-4 astronauts did a launch rehearsal this past Wednesday and are ready to go once Axiom 1 returns home first.
The Axiom crew has spent days at the ISS doing experiments on heart health, aging and stem cells.
News 6 will plan to stream the undocking live at the top of this story when coverage begins.