Astronauts who were scheduled to travel to the ISS on NASA’s first space tourism mission will have to wait a bit longer.
Axiom Space, the Texas-based company that is handling the trip, recently said the east will be delayed by a month. Specifically, it will take place on March 31 instead of the end of February, the first scheduled date.
Ax-1, the first ever private astronaut mission to the @Space_Station, is now targeting a March 31 launch due to additional spacecraft preparations & space station traffic. The multinational crew will conduct science, outreach, & commercial activities during their 8 days on ISS. pic.twitter.com/s9qsnS7gE8
— Axiom Space (@Axiom_Space) January 20, 2022
The company explains that the changes are due to “additional preparations of the ships and traffic on the space station.” It is possible that there will be more spacecraft moving around the ISS in late February and early March, which could lead NASA to delay the mission.
The mission, called Ax-1, will be made up of three civilians who will each pay $55 million for an eight-day trip to the ISS. They are Canadian investor Mark Pathy, American businessman Larry Connor and former Israeli air force pilot Eytan Stibbe. Along with them will also be a former NASA astronaut, the Spanish Miguel Eladio López-Alegría (better known as Michael López-Alegría) who will be the commander of the mission.
The Ax-1 mission will be carried out on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Crew Dragon spacecraft into space. This mission is part of the initiative of NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), with which they intend to market the ISS to raise funds and encourage access to space for citizens (rich, of course).