Jan. 17 (UPI) — Four astronauts will take part in the third private trip to the International Space Station starting on Wednesday, where they will take part in two weeks of experiments before returning home.
SpaceX prepares the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft for launching the Axiom 3 crew to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Wednesday. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo
Axiom-3’s all-European crew including European Space Agency Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, Italian Pilot Water Villadei, Turkish Mission Specialist Alper Gezeravci and Swedish ESA project astronaut Marcus Wandt will lift off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:11p.m.
They are expected to dock in a SpaceX Dragon capsule at the ISS at 5:15 a.m. on Friday where they will spend two weeks before returning home.
“During their time on the orbiting laboratory, the crew will conduct more than 30 scientific experiments and demonstrations focused on human physiology and technological industrial advancements,” SpaceX said in a statement.
The forecast for launch was favorable, with the U.S. Space Force placing the odds for “go for launch” weather above 95% and the National Weather Service forecasting sunny weather and temperatures in the 60s. However, strong winds with gusts of up to 20 mph could throw a wrench in the liftoff plans.
The crew is the first private group entirely comprised of Europeans to make a trip to the ISS, including Gezeravci who will be first Turkish resident to go into space.
As you know, I’m representing my beautiful country of Turkey as the first person to go to space,” Gzeravci said at a press conference Thursday. “However, the mission is not only focused on the first manned mission, but it’s also representing a lot of scientific missions that we are intending to contribute in the science world.”
While NASA hopes that the Axiom missions…