It’s a new chapter in manned spaceflight, the first time an exclusively private crew has gone into space on a private non-governmental spacecraft.
The commander, a former NASA astronaut, spoke before the flight.
“It was a real privilege to work and train alongside these three remarkable gentlemen,” said Axiom 1 Mission Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria. “And I can say with zero hesitation that we are ready to fly.”
The team consists of an American, a Canadian and an Israeli, all with deep pockets. The route is not cheap.
They reportedly pay nearly $ 55 million per ticket for more than a week in space and a trip to the International Space Station.
“Axiom is a space travel company and they actually brought together some individuals who paid their way up,” said Benjamin Dickow, executive director of the Columbia Space Center in Downey.
Each visitor will have a set of experiments to perform while up there – one reason he prefers not to be called a “tourist”.
As a gift for their hosts at the space station, they will bring some food prepared by the famous chef Jose Andres.
Dickow says that just being interested in a trip like this makes people talk about science.
“And I think that’s the big advantage of that,” he explained. “There is something in space that really gets people involved in science, and that’s good for all of us.”
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