It has become such a common event that news sites hardly ever write about new manned comic launches. But SpaceX has sent space tourists to the ISS again on the Crew Dragon Freedom as part of the Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) mission from Axiom Space.

A Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1080.5) rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39A pad on January 18, 2024 at 21:49 UTC. Docking with the ISS is scheduled for January 20, 2024 at 10:15 UTC. The B1080 booster has returned to the landing site. The planned duration of the Axiom Mission 3 mission is 14 days.

Axiom Mission 3: SpaceX sends tourists to the ISS again

The Axiom Mission 3 crew includes four astronauts. The commander of the ship is Michael Lopez-Alegria (USA/Spain), this is his sixth space flight and the second with Axiom Space, whose lead astronaut he became after retiring from NASA. Pilot Walter Villadi (Italy), the second flight, the first was a suborbital flight on Virgin Galactic Unity in the summer of 2023. Specialist Alper Gezeravci (Turkey) – the first Turkish astronaut, colonel of the Turkish Air Force, first flight. Specialist Marcus Wandt (Sweden/Norway), European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut of the 2022 recruitment, first flight.

Axiom Space’s next mission, Axiom Mission 4, is scheduled for October 2024, and the crew has not yet been announced. Earlier, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that Axiom Space was going to send actor Tom Cruise into space.