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SpaceX launching Axiom's private mission to the ISS on Sunday

Ax-2 will have a female commander and three paying astronauts

L-R: Ali AlQuarni, Cdr. Peggy Whitson; John Shoffner; and Rayyanah Barnawi

The Falcon 9 v1.2 FT BL5 rocket B1080.1 will launch the Crew Dragon C212.2 Freedom spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket will launch on May 21, 2023 at 5:37 pm EDT (9:37 pm GMT). Today, Friday, May 19, the unfueled general rehearsal of the rocket and spacecraft will took place on platform 39A of the American spaceport.

Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) will be the first commercial manned space mission to include private astronauts and foreign government representatives, as well as the first privately-owned mission commanded by a woman. Once docked, the astronauts will spend their time aboard the orbiting laboratory implementing a complete mission comprising scientific research, media outreach and commercial activities. The recovery vessel Megan departed Port Canaveral and is heading to the Gulf of Mexico to act as a rescue boat.

Falcon 9 v1.2 FT BL5 rocket #B1080.1 static fire on LC-39A at Cape Canaveral

This flight should give Axiom experience for its teams working with NASA and SpaceX, and also for its first commercial space station. Peggy Whitson's three passengers are paying for the eight-day flight. Two Saudi astronauts will be on board, including the country's first woman to fly into space, and the experienced American aviator will serve as pilot. The mission paves the way for Axiom's plan to dock a module from its private space station to the ISS by 2025.

This will be Axiom Space's second