Enrichment

First all-private SpaceX crew safely returns off coast of Florida

The four-person crew has orbited the International Space Station for over two weeks. 
HOLD FOR STORY FILE – This photo provided by SpaceX shows the SpaceX crew seated in the Dragon spacecraft on Friday, April 8, 2022, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Axiom handled the logistics for the trip. From left are Canadian private equity CEO Mark Pathy, American real estate tycoon Larry Connor; Michael Lopez-Alegria, an Axiom vice president who flew to space four times while a NASA astronaut, and Israeli investor Eytan Stibbe of Tel Aviv. They are scheduled to return to Earth on Monday, April 25, 2022 after a trip to the International Space Station. (SpaceX via AP, File)

Story at a glance

  • All members of the first all-private trip to the International Space Station returned to Earth Monday afternoon. 

  • SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which carried the Axiom-1 mission capsule with the crew, splashed down off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Crew members included an Axiom-1 mission pilot, an Israeli businessman, a Canadian investor and an American businessman who all conducted research for organizations during the trip. 

Members of the first all-private trip to the International Space Station have successfully returned to Earth.  

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft safely landed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., at 1:06 p.m. on Monday, April 25, along with the crew of Axiom Space’s Ax-1 crew.  

The Axiom-1 mission’s four-man crew — made up of Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, Ohio-based real estate and tech entrepreneur Larry Connor, Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe and Canadian investor Mark Pathy — spent a total of 17 days in space.  


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During their trip, the crew orbited the International Space Station for 15 days and flew roughly 6.3 million miles — the equivalent of 240 trips around the Earth. The crew launched on April 8 on what was initially planned to be a 10-day trip, but high winds at the splashdown site delayed their return for more than a week.   

The crew traveled to the ISS to conduct research on the behalf of other organizations, including the Israeli and Canadian space agencies, the Cleveland Clinic, the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Mayo Clinic, according to a release.  

Now, the crew are taking part in “post-flight studies” and providing biomedical and physiological data for researchers at the Translational Research Institute for Space Health in Houston to help better understand the effects of spaceflight.  


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