HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide live coverage of the undocking and departure of the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) prior to its return to Earth from the International Space Station.
The four-member private astronaut crew is scheduled to undock at 10:35 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, to begin the journey home with splashdown off the coast of Florida no earlier than 7:19 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 20. Teams will monitor weather at the splashdown sites prior to undocking to ensure conditions are acceptable for a safe recovery of the Dragon spacecraft and Ax-1 astronauts. If needed for any reason, there are additional opportunities for the crew’s departure from the space station on Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20.
NASA and Axiom Space will begin coverage on Tuesday, April 19, with a farewell ceremony between the Ax-1 and Expedition 67 crews, which will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, the agency’s website, and the company’s website.
Ax-1 Commander Michael López-Alegría, Pilot Larry Connor, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy will complete 12 days in space at the conclusion of their mission. SpaceX Dragon Endeavour, the Ax-1 spacecraft, will return to Earth with more than 200 pounds of science and supplies, including NASA experiments and hardware.
NASA Ax-1 return coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):
Tuesday, April 19
7 a.m. – Coverage begins for farewell ceremony
8:15 a.m. – Coverage begins for 8:30 a.m. hatch closure
10:15 a.m. – Coverage begins for 10:35 a.m. undocking
NASA coverage will break between the above events, and undocking coverage will end approximately 30 minutes after undocking when joint operations with the Axiom and SpaceX mission teams ends.
Axiom Space will resume coverage of Dragon’s re-entry and splashdown beginning about an hour before splashdown at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, on the company’s website.
The Ax-1 mission represents both a culmination of NASA’s efforts to foster a commercial market in low-Earth orbit and the beginning of a new era of space exploration that enables more people to fly on more kinds of missions. This partnership is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities.