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Watch Live: NASA Coverage of Axiom Mission 3 Departure From Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft carrying the four-member Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) crew is pictured approaching the International Space Station 260 miles above China north of the Himalayas. Credit: NASA

Axiom Mission 3’s return from the ISS, involving NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion." NASA conducts research, develops technology and launches missions to explore and study Earth, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It also works to advance the state of knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields, including Earth and space science, planetary science, astrophysics, and heliophysics, and it collaborates with private companies and international partners to achieve its goals.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceXCommonly known as SpaceX, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company that was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Headquartered in Hawthorne, California, the company designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX's ultimate goal is to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>SpaceX, has been delayed to February 5 due to weather. Live coverage of the undocking and return processes will be provided across multiple NASA platforms.

Undocking Delayed

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than Monday, February 5, for the undocking of Axiom Mission 3 from the International Space StationThe International Space Station (ISS) is a large spacecraft in orbit around the Earth that serves as a research laboratory and spaceport for international collaboration in space exploration. It was launched in 1998 and has been continuously occupied by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world since 2000. The ISS is a joint project of five space agencies: NASA (USA), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). It orbits the Earth at an altitude of approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles), and provides a unique platform for scientific research, technological development, and human space exploration.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>International Space Station. Teams are standing down from the Saturday, February 3, undocking opportunity of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Axiom crew members due to weather conditions off the coast of Florida. The next weather review is planned for 8 p.m. ESTEST is an abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time, the time zone for the eastern coast of the United States and Canada when observing standard time (autumn/winter). It is five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, and the Kennedy Space Center are in the Eastern Time Zone (ET).” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>EST on Saturday, February 3. NASA will provide additional information on coverage.

Coverage of the Undocking Process

NASA will provide live coverage of the undocking and departure of the Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) private astronaut flight from the International Space Station before the crew returns to Earth.

The four-member astronaut crew will undock from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to begin the journey home and splashdown off the coast of Florida.

NASA will provide live coverage of space station joint operations with Axiom Space and SpaceX. Coverage of hatch-closure preparations will begin at 4 a.m. NASA coverage of undocking will resume at 5:45 a.m.

Coverage will be available on NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.

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Aboard the International Space Station, Axiom Mission-3 crewmembers Michael López-Alegría, Walter Villadei, Alper Gezeravcı, and Marcus Wandt provided farewell remarks on February 2 ahead of their scheduled undocking from the space station on February 3 (now delayed to February 5). The crew has been living and working on the International Space Station since January 20 following a launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 18. Axiom Mission-3 is the third private astronaut mission to the space station. Credit: NASA

Mission Highlights and Crew Contributions

The four private astronauts, Michael López-Alegría, Walter Villadei, Marcus Wandt, and Alper Gezeravci, will complete about two weeks in space at the conclusion of their mission. The Axiom crew, along with Expedition 70, highlighted their stay aboard the space station during farewell remarks on Friday in advance of their undocking.

Their SpaceX Dragon will return to Earth with more than 550 pounds of cargo, including NASA hardware and data from more than 30 different experiments the crew conducted during their mission. Splashdown is expected about 7 p.m.

Ax-3, the third all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, successfully lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 18.

NASA’s coverage ends approximately 30 minutes after undocking when space station joint operations with Axiom Space and SpaceX mission teams conclude. Axiom Space will resume coverage of Dragon’s re-entry and splashdown on the company’s website.

The Ax-3 mission is part of NASA’s effort to foster a commercial market in low Earth orbit and continue a new era of space exploration that enables more people and organizations to fly multiple mission objectives. This partnership expands the arc of human spaceflight and opens access to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, science, and commercial opportunities.

Source: SciTechDaily