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Axiom Space private astronauts headed to International Space Station

Four private astronauts are in orbit following the successful launch of Axiom Mission 2 (Ax-2), the second all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Axiom Space astronauts lifted off in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, May 21, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The company’s Dragon spacecraft carried Ax-2 crew members Commander Peggy Whitson, Pilot John Shoffner, and Mission Specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi into orbit on a mission to conduct scientific research, outreach, and commercial activities on the space station.

During their time aboard the ISS the Ax-2 astronauts will carry out more than 20 scientific experiments, including helping to better understand space radiation and weather in low-gravity conditions.

The Axiom Space astronauts are expected to depart the space station May 30, pending weather, for a return to Earth and splashdown at a landing site off the coast of Florida.

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