Dragon Endeavour with private Ax-1 astronaut crew departs International Space Station

The four Multinational space flyer's concluded an extended 16-day stay at the Orbiting Laboratory.



SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour carrying the private Ax-1 astronauts fires its thrusters to depart the International Space Station after a successful undocking on April 24, 2022. (Image credit: NASA TV)

April 24, 2022/ SpaceX Dragon capsule, named Endeavour, with Ax-1 crew undocked from the International Space Station's Harmony module today (April 24) at 9:10 p.m. EDT (0110 UTC on April 25). Endeavour and its four passengers will splash down off the Florida coast on Monday (April 25) at 1:06 p.m. EDT (1706 UTC), if all goes according to plan.


Infographic by S.I and HDE

Ax-1 was originally supposed to undock on Tuesday morning (April 19) and arrive early Wednesday (April 20), but predicted bad weather in the splashdown zone pushed things back about 12 hours. And these poor conditions persisted, causing additional delays until Endeavour was finally able to get on its way today. The delay also caused the Crew-4 launch postponement to Thursday (April 28) and the return of Crew-3.




"Thanks once again for all the support through this amazing adventure that we've had," Ax-1 mission commander Michael López-Alegría radioed NASA's JSC mission control in Houston after undocking. "Even longer and more exciting than we thought. We really appreciate your professionalism, and with that, we'll sign off."


Dragon Endeavour and the Ax-1 crew launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 8 and arrived at the ISS orbiting lab on April 9, becoming the first-ever all-private crewed mission to visit the station.



The mission was organized by Houston company Axiom Space and is led by López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut who now serves as Axiom's vice president of business development. The other three passengers are paying customers — American businessman and Pilot Larry Connor, Canadian Mark Pathy and Israeli Eytan Stibbe, each of whom reportedly paid about $55 million for his seat.


Eytan Stibbe, the second Israeli ever to reach space. The first, Ilan Ramon, died along with his six crewmates in the Columbia shuttle disaster in 2003. Both Stibbe and Ramon are friends (Image Credit; Axiom)

The Poor Weather in the Splashdown range caused a Delay of an additional 3 days, The extra time Ax-1 spent aboard the ISS did not end up costing Axiom Space extra money, by the way. The contract the company negotiated with NASA covers Ax-1 for a number of contingency days, - the spokesperson of Axiom


Undocking and Splashdown Timeline


Splashdown Graphic (Credit: SpaceX)

TIMELINE

(DD:HH:MM) EVENT

T- 00:02:20 Dragon hatch closure

T+00:00:00 Dragon autonomously undocks from the International Space Station

T+00:00:05 Departure burn 0 begins

T+00:00:10 Departure burn 1 begins

T+00:00:58 Departure burn 2 begins

T+00:01:44 Departure burn 3 begins

T+00:15:00 Departure phasing burn begins

T+00:15:01 Trunk jettison

T+00:15:06 Deorbit burn begins

T+00:15:18 Nosecone closed

T+00:15:56 Dragon splashdown


SpaceX's Recovery vessel Shannon and Megan were stationed off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, for the extraction of the Ax-1 crew after splashdown.



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