SpaceX’s next private space mission will send four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday (May 21), and the mission will be watched online in a series of free webcasts.
Ax-2 will be the second private flight to the station by SpaceX for Axiom Space, and will launch from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Liftoff is scheduled Sunday at 5:37 pm EDT (2137 GMT).. You can follow it live with our Ax-2 Mission Updates page.
The Ax-2 mission was commanded by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, with a paying customer — investor and businessman John Shofner — serving as pilot. Saudi Arabia is flying two of its newest astronauts, Ali Alkarni and Rayana Barnawi, to the space station, with Barnawi set to become the first Saudi woman to fly in space. Here’s how to watch their 10-day mission, which includes eight days aboard the space station.
Sunday, May 21: Ax-2 Launch Webcast
NASA and SpaceX will each provide live webcasts of the Ax-2 astronaut launch, starting with SpaceX’s livestream. 2 pm EDT (1800 GMT). Space.com will simulcast the release on our website and on this page.
SpaceX’s YouTube Livestream As the Ax-2 crew prepares to take off in their sleek spacesuits, they are expected to show up in black Tesla electric cars to the launch pad and board their Dragon capsule Freedom. There is liftoff 5:37 PM EDT (2123 GMT)And that should include the first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket returning to Earth to attempt a landing on the company’s pad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
NASA’s YouTube Livestream Starting at 4:30 PM EDT (2030 GMT) Running through liftoff an hour later.
“Today’s launch coverage is led by Axiom Space, with support from NASA and SpaceX; NASA’s primary mission responsibilities begin with the start of Ax-2 combined operations as it approaches the International Space Station,” NASA has explained For the webcast.
Monday, May 22: Ax-2 Dragon Docking – 7:30 am ET
The Ax-2 crew will arrive at the International Space Station Monday, May 22, at 9:24 a.m. EDT (1324 GMT)But you can see their approach for about two hours before they dock.
NASA will host a live webcast May 22 at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT) Describe Dragon Freedom’s approach and docking on NASA TV via its YouTube channel. Livestream doesn’t end with docking. Instead, NASA will blog the Ax-2 crew’s activities as they open hatches between Dragon and the station.
Hatch opening is planned 11:13 a.m. EDT (1513 GMT). The four Ax-2 astronauts will then share some “Welcome Notes”. 11:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT)NASA officials said.
Ax-2 undocking and splash down
While SpaceX, Axiom Space and NASA have not released a timetable for the Ax-2 crew’s return to Earth, at least the disconnect from the International Space Station will be broadcast live on the Internet, if not the landing.
The Ax-2 mission is expected to last about 10 days, with its decommissioning on May 31, followed by a splashdown. Once we have more updated details on the mission’s timeline, we’ll update this page with livestreamed takedown and landing events.