Kathy Lueders, who is leading NASA's human spaceflight program, announced that the first-ever private astronaut mission to the International Space Station will be launched on February 21, 2022.
The crew of the Axiom Mission 1 (AX-1) will spend eight days in space, excluding departure and return to Earth. Four space tourists will be aboard the station along with other astronauts who live there.
The AX-1 crew will take off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. They will be taken to space by the Crew Dragon spacecraft developed by SpaceX.
The crew includes the former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, who will lead the mission, investors from the USA and Canada Larry Connor and Mark Pathy, as well as Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe.
Axiom Space is an American aerospace company that develops a commercial segment on the ISS. In March 2020, Axiom Space agreed with SpaceX to deliver space tourists to the ISS.