CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX have postponed the undocking of Axiom Mission 3 from the International Space Station due to unfavorable weather conditions off the coast of Florida. The new target date for the undocking is Monday, Feb. 5, after standing down from the original plan on Saturday, Feb. 3. The decision was made in consideration of the crew’s safety during their return journey to Earth.
Live coverage of the undocking and departure of the Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) private astronaut flight from the International Space Station will be provided by NASA. The four-member astronaut crew is expected to undock no earlier than 6:05 a.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 3, from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
NASA will offer live coverage of space station joint operations with Axiom Space and SpaceX, as well as the hatch-closure preparations and undocking process. Viewers can tune in through various platforms including NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website.
The Axiom crew, consisting of Michael López-Alegría, Walter Villadei, Marcus Wandt, and Alper Gezeravci, will have completed about two weeks in space by the end of their mission. Their SpaceX Dragon will return to Earth carrying over 550 pounds of cargo, including NASA hardware and data from more than 30 different experiments conducted during their mission.
The Ax-3 mission is part of NASA’s ongoing effort to foster a commercial market in low Earth orbit, with the goal of enabling more people and organizations to participate in space exploration and utilize the International Space Station for scientific and commercial purposes. The partnership with Axiom Space and SpaceX aims to expand human spaceflight opportunities and drive the development of the space economy in low Earth orbit.
For those interested in learning more about NASA’s efforts to support a space economy in low Earth orbit, more information can be found on NASA’s website.