American private space habitat company Axiom Space is set to launch its second mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday.
"Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2) will be Axiom Space's second all-private astronaut mission to the ISS, marking another pivotal step toward Axiom Station, the world's first commercial space station and successor to the ISS," the company wrote in its mission statement.
"The Ax-2 crew is currently scheduled to launch no earlier than May 21, 2023," it added.
Ax-2 will be the first commercial human spaceflight mission to include both private astronauts and astronauts representing foreign governments, as well as the first private mission commanded by a female.
Axiom Space's Director of Human Spaceflight Peggy Whitson, a former NASA astronaut and ISS commander, will lead the mission, and aviator John Shoffner will serve as pilot. The two mission specialists are Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Ax-2 crew aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the ISS from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Once docked, the Axiom Space astronauts plan to spend their time aboard the orbiting laboratory implementing a full mission consisting of science, outreach, and commercial activities.
The multinational astronaut crew of Ax-2 will conduct more than 20 different experiments while aboard the space station, made possible by Axiom Space's full-service integration into the NASA process for science and technology activities onboard the ISS.
Data collected in-flight will impact understanding of human physiology on Earth and on-orbit, as well as establish the utility of novel technologies that could be used for future human spaceflight pursuits and humankind on Earth.
Axiom Space is facilitating exciting and impactful scientific research and in-space manufacturing via its space missions, and on Axiom Station in the future, to help expand knowledge to benefit life on Earth in areas such as healthcare, materials, technology development, and enable industrial advances.
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