Axiom Ax-1: First Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station Launches Today – How To Watch Live

In this illustration, a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station for docking. Credit: NASA/SpaceX

NASA and Axiom Space will provide coverage of launch and select mission activities for Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station.

Liftoff is scheduled at 11:17 a.m. EDT Friday, April 8, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Coverage begins on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website beginning at 10:15 a.m. EDT Friday, April 8. Coverage will join the Axiom Space broadcast that begins at about 7:50 a.m. The broadcast will end after orbital insertion approximately 15 minutes after launch.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft aboard is seen at sunrise on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), Thursday, April 7, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Friday, April 8

10:15 a.m. – NASA launch coverage begins

NASA will broadcast the Ax-1 launch on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Coverage will join the joint Axiom Space and SpaceX broadcast that begins at about 7:55 a.m. at:

http://www.axiomspace.com/live

The broadcast will end after orbital insertion approximately 15 minutes after launch. As it is a commercial launch, NASA will not provide a clean feed for this launch, neither on the NASA Media Channel nor on site at Kennedy.

12:30 p.m. – Postlaunch Media Briefing (targeted about one hour following launch)

Leadership from NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX will participate in a postlaunch media briefing to provide an update on the launch and mission operations.

Participants include:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator for space operations, NASA
  • Dana Weigel, International Space Station deputy program manager, NASA
  • Angela Hart, Commercial LEO Program manager, NASA
  • Michael Suffredini, president and CEO, Axiom Space
  • Derek Hassmann, operations director, Axiom Space
  • Benjamin Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX

Saturday, April 9

NASA’s mission responsibility is for integrated operations, which begin during the spacecraft’s approach to the International Space Station, continue during the crew’s eight days aboard the orbiting laboratory conducting science, education, and commercial activities, and conclude once Dragon exits the area of the space station.

5:30 a.m. – NASA docking coverage begins

7:45 a.m. (approximately) – docking

9:30 a.m. (approximately) – hatch opening and crew welcome ceremony

NASA will release a separate advisory to preview the Ax- 1 farewell event and return coverage.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B as the Artemis I launch team prepares for the next attempt of the wet dress rehearsal test, right, as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft aboard is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), Wednesday, April 6, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ax-1 mission is the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. Ax-1 crew members Commander Michael López-Alegría of Spain and the United States, Pilot Larry Connor of the United States, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe of Israel, and Mark Pathy of Canada are scheduled to launch on April 8 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Weather officials with the 45th Weather Squadron are predicting a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch, with the primary concern being liftoff winds. Teams also are monitoring the down range weather for the flight path of the Crew Dragon.

Ax-1 crew members, Commander Michael López-Alegría of the U.S. and Spain, Pilot Larry Connor of the U.S., Mission Specialist Eytan Stibbe of Israel, and Mission Specialist Mark Pathy of Canada, will launch on a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket aboard SpaceX Dragon Endeavour on its third flight to station.

Ax-1 Crew in SpaceX Crew Dragon. Credit: SpaceX

Leaders from NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX will participate in a postlaunch media briefing to provide an update on the launch and mission operations. The briefing is targeted to begin at 12:30 p.m. EDT, or about one hour following launch.

During the 10-day mission, eight of which will be spent aboard the orbiting laboratory, the crew will complete more than 25 science experiments and technology demonstrations developed for a microgravity environment.

The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly around of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on November 8, 2021. Credit: NASA

NASA is working to build a robust low-Earth orbit economy and working with private companies to support the agency’s goals. In doing so, NASA can become one of many customers of this robust economy as the agency focuses on landing the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface as part of the Artemis program.

Axiom Space Ax-1 Crew. Credit: Chris Gunn for Axiom Space

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