Launch of first civilian commercial crew to space station slips to Friday

The launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule featuring the first all-civilian crew on a commercial, non-governmental flight to the International Space Station slides from Wednesday to at least Friday, the mission’s sponsor announced Sunday. No reason for the slip was given.

Houston-based Axiom Space said launch of pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center is now aimed at no earlier than 11:17 a.m. ET Friday, April 8, setting up a docking at the space station Saturday morning at 7:30 p.m.

Mission Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, a vice president of Axiom and former NASA astronaut, and three wealthy investors / entrepreneurs – Larry Connor, Canadian Mark Pathy and Israeli Eytan Stibbe, a former F-16 fighter ace – are planning about nine days spent on board the laboratory conducting privately funded research before releasing and returning to Earth.

The flight is the first NASA-sanctioned “private astronaut mission” to the space station, as the agency seeks to expand commercial investment in research and development of low-Earth orbit.

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The AX-1 crew during training (left to right): Larry Connor, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe.

Axiom Space / SpaceX



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