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.