Two American and two Saudis including the first Arab woman were sent to orbit as a private astronaut team. They landed in Florida on Tuesday night after spending an eight-day mission for research at the International Space Station ( ISS), They were carried in a SpaceX crew Dragon capsule as a canopy to the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida. They traveled for 12 hours on the return flight and entered the Earth’s atmosphere in a plunge.
Axiom Space, The mastermind company behind the mission carried a live webcast jointly with SpaceX. The stated mission is the second one that Axiom had organized, equipped, and trained entirely at its own expense. Axiom is a Huston-based venture and is headed by NASA’s former ISS program manager for the last seven years.
This crew was led by Peggy Whitson, a 63 years old retired NASA astronaut. She holds the US record for spending the largest time in orbit considering 665 days in space over three long-duration missions to the ISS that includes the 10 spacewalks. Currently, she is serving as a director of Axiom of human spaceflight.
The moment after the landing Ms Whitson radioed her message that she had a phenomenal ride and all of them enjoyed it. John Shoffner, at 67 years of age was the designated pilot of Ax-2. He belongs to Alaska and is an aviator, race car driver, and investor.
Summarising the crew that was on the mission included two astronauts from Saudi Arabia to fly into the private spacecraft. Ali Alqarni is a 31years old fighter pilot serving the Royal Saudi Air Force and Rayyanah Barnawi is serving as a biomedical scientist in cancer stem-cell research is a 34 years old first woman from the Arab world to get launched into Earth Orbit and the first Saudi woman to fly into space. It is an achievement for her just after five years the Gulf women were given the right to drive in June 2018 she got the opportunity for the mission.
In a groundbreaking venture funded by private investors and affluent individuals, the Axiom 2 mission emerged as the cutting-edge expedition into Earth’s orbit. Setting off on May 21, this daring endeavor not only exemplified the growing role of commercial interests in space exploration but also signified NASA’s plans to expand access to low Earth Orbit for commercial purposes.
Having secured a contract with the U.S. space agency, Axiom had previously dispatched a four-member team of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in April 2022. This milestone marked Axiom’s inaugural commercial project, establishing an orbiting laboratory in collaboration with NASA.
Playing a pivotal role in this remarkable feat, SpaceX, a company based in California and renowned for its association with Tesla Inc, contributed the Falcon 9 rocket under the guidance of CEO Elon Musk. Furthermore, both companies collaborated to provide the crew capsule responsible for ferrying Axiom’s team to and from the orbit, assuming command of the entire flight.