NASA, SpaceX and Houston company Axiom Space will discuss a landmark private space mission today (Feb. 28), and you can watch it live.
Axiom Space plans to launch Ax-1, the first all-private crewed mission to the International Space Station, on March 30. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a Crew Dragon capsule carrying four people, including three paying customers, on a 10-day orbital jaunt.
Representatives of NASA, Axiom and SpaceX will preview the flight during a livestreamed press conference today at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GTM); you can watch it live here on Space.com or directly via Axiom.
Photos: The first space tourists
Participating in the press conference will be:
- Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations, NASA
- Robyn Gatens, director, International Space Station, NASA
- Phil McAllister, director, Commercial Spaceflight, NASA
- Michael Suffredini, president and CEO, Axiom
- Michael López-Alegría, Ax-1 crew commander, Axiom
- Christian Maender, director, In-Space Research and Manufacturing, Axiom
- Benjamin Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
Axiom-1 "represents another significant milestone in our efforts to create a low Earth orbit economy," McAlister said in a statement earlier this month. "I wish these Axiom crew members safe travels, and I hope they find their time in space productive and enjoyable."
Axiom-1 won't be the first time a Dragon has carried people to the space station; SpaceX holds a NASA contract to fly agency astronauts to the from the orbiting lab and has already launched a handful of such missions.
SpaceX also broke new spaceflight ground last September with a mission called Inspiration4, which sent the first all-private crew to Earth orbit. Inspiration4 carried the crew on a 3-day orbital journey but it did not meet up with the station.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.
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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.