The Ax-2 crew shares excitement about the upcoming launch
The four astronauts who will launch on Axiom Space’s next mission to the International Space Station (ISS) held a virtual press conference on Tuesday (May 16) to discuss their impending spaceflights.
Ali Al-Qarni and Rayana Barnawi, Ax-2 mission specialists who are members of Saudi Arabia’s first class of astronauts, shared their excitement at being chosen to represent their country as it sends its first humans to the International Space Station. “We are truly honored and honored to have you guys with us and to be part of this amazing mission,” Al-Qarni said, adding that he and Barnawi are “thrilled and excited about our mission and representing Saudi Arabia on this journey.”
Meanwhile, Ax-2 pilot John Shoffner shared, “To say I’m excited to be here would be a massive understatement.” This will be Shoffner’s first trip to space.
Axiom Space’s Ax-2 mission is scheduled to lift off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Sunday (May 21) at 5:37 p.m. EST (2137 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch it live here courtesy of NASA and SpaceX.
Read more: Private Ax-2 astronauts can’t wait for SpaceX’s May 21 launch to the space station
Related: Meet the four astronauts on SpaceX’s Ax-2 mission for Axiom Space
Axiom Space ‘Go’ to launch Ax-2 on May 21st
At the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) conference held Monday (May 15), mission managers from NASA, SpaceX, and Axiom Space said the next Ax-2 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is currently on track to launch as scheduled. at 5:37 PM EST (2137 GMT) on Sunday, May 21.
“Today we ran a review where we got together members of the Axiom Space team, SpaceX and NASA to talk about the upcoming mission, and at the end of that review the whole team polled ‘Go,’” said Ken Powersox, associate director of NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate.
The mission will be the second ever private mission to the International Space Station. The first, Ax-1, launched in April 2022 aboard a SpaceX rocket and saw four private astronauts spend more than two weeks aboard the International Space Station.
Read more: SpaceX launches the first Saudi woman into space on a special Ax-2 mission
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