If you’re one of the few people lucky enough to be able to afford a $55 million space ticket, chances are you’re not used to hard work. members An all-private crew to the International Space Station Recently reflecting on their flight into low Earth orbit, they complained that they had a lot of work to do aboard the lab as it orbited our planet.
During a press conference Friday, the four-man crew on Axiom SpaceX’s mission admitted that they tried to fit too much into their schedules, which put strain on them as well as on the already living astronaut crew. and work at the station, SpaceNews reports.
Susan Helms, a former NASA astronaut and a member of the Space Safety Advisory Committee, said during a team meeting Thursday.
The crew arrived at the International Space Station on April 9, and packed with them an impressive experimental payload that included experiments on holoports, human cells, and high-resolution optical lenses. But since this was their first time in space, and they are neither professional astronauts nor researchers, some of the experiments took much longer than expected. One experiment that was only supposed to take two and a half hours based on pre-flight training ended up taking up twice that amount of time, according to entrepreneur and investor Larry Connor, who was a member of the Ax-1 mission.
“Our schedule was very strict, especially early in the mission,” said Michael Lopez Allegria, a former NASA astronaut who led the mission. “The pace was frenetic at first.”
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The mission was initially meant to last for eight nights, but ended up being extended to 15 days due to delay in unfavorable weather. Newbies to the International Space Station weren’t complaining about spending that extra time above Earth’s atmosphere, as this allowed them to enjoy the extraordinary scenery (one thing they definitely expected for the price of entry). “It was a blessing to have extra time,” Lopez Allegria said. “I think we were so focused on research and outreach in the first 8 or 10 days in orbit that we needed extra time to complete the experiment by making time to look out the window, connect with friends and family, just to enjoy the sensation.”
But their extended stay meant the International Space Station remained cramped, with 11 astronauts on board. Some science units only allow four or fewer astronauts to conduct experiments at the same time, meaning the Axiom-1 crew ended up disrupting the schedules of regular astronauts on the International Space Station.
The company is already preparing to launch a second crew to the International Space Station, after it has sold three seats, including one dedicated to an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, on the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
Michael Suffredini, president of Axiom Space Corporation, pointed to these issues as part of the private space company’s “lessons learned” discussion with NASA and SpaceX following the first private crewed mission to the International Space Station. “Over time, we will reduce what the crew will have to do,” Suffredini said during the press conference.
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