Watch SpaceX’s Ax-2 private astronaut launch in this free livestream May 21
SpaceX’s next private spaceflight will launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday (May 21) and you can watch the mission live online in a series of free webcasts.
The Ax-2 mission is the second all-private flight to the station by SpaceX for the company Axiom Space and will launch from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:37 p.m. EDT (2137 GMT) on Sunday. You can follow it live with our Ax-2 mission updates page.
The Ax-2 mission is commanded by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, with a paying customer — investor and entrepreneur John Shoffner — serving as pilot. Saudi Arabia is flying two of its newest astronauts, Ali AlQarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, to the station on the flight, with Barnawi set to become the first Saudi woman to fly in space. Here’s how to watch their 10-day mission, which includes eight days on the space station.
Sunday, May 21: Ax-2 launch webcast
NASA and SpaceX will each offer live webcasts of the Ax-2 astronaut launch, with SpaceX’s livestream beginning at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). Space.com will simulcast the launch on our website and on this page.
SpaceX’s YouTube livestream is expected to show the Ax-2 crew as they prepare for flight in their sleek spacesuits, head to the launch pad in black Tesla electric cars and board their Dragon capsule Freedom. Liftoff is at 5:37 p.m. EDT (2123 GMT), and should include coverage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket first stage returning to Earth to attempt a landing at the company’s pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
NASA’s YouTube livestream will begin at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) and running through liftoff just over an hour later.
“Today’s launch coverage is led by Axiom Space, with support from NASA and SpaceX; NASA’s primary mission responsibilities begin during Freedom’s approach to the International Space Station, the start of Ax-2 integrated operations,” NASA explained for the webcast.
Monday, May 22: Ax-2 Dragon docking – 7:30 am ET
The Ax-2 crew will arrive at the International Space Station on Monday, May 22, at 9:24 a.m. EDT (1324 GMT), but you’ll be able to watch their approach for nearly two hours before they dock.
NASA will provide a live webcast on May 22 at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT) to chronicle the Dragon Freedom’s approach and docking on NASA TV and via its YouTube channel. The livestream will not end with docking. Instead, NASA will continue to webcast the Ax-2 crew’s activities as they open the hatches between their Dragon and the station.
Hatch opening is scheduled for 11:13 a.m. EDT (1513 GMT). The four Ax-2 astronauts will then share some “welcome remarks” at 11:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT), NASA officials have said.
Ax-2 undocking and splashdown
While SpaceX, Axiom Space and NASA have not released a schedule for the Ax-2 crew’s return to Earth, it is likely that at least the undocking from the International Space Station will be webcast live, if not the landing itself.
The Ax-2 mission is expected to last about 10 days, placing its undocking sometime around May 31, with splashdown expected shortly thereafter. Once we get more refined details on the mission’s timeline, we’ll be sure to update this page with any undocking and landing livestream events.
How to watch the Axiom-2 mission depart from the ISS on Tuesday – Digital Trends
This Tuesday, the crew of the second-ever all-private mission to the International Space Station will be returning to Earth. The Axiom 2 or Ax-2 mission launched last week and saw private astronauts Peggy Whitson, John Shoffner, Ali Alqarni, and Rayyanah Barnawi traveling to the ISS on a SpaceX Crew Dragon launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Now, the crew of four will be traveling back to Earth in the same Crew Dragon, and NASA will be livestreaming the departure of the spacecraft from the station. A separate stream will also be available showing the Crew Dragon splashing down off the coast of Florida. We’ve got the details on how to watch both below.
How to watch the mission departure
Coverage of the departure of the Crew Dragon from the ISS will begin at 9 a.m. ET (6 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, May 30. NASA will show a short introduction before the closing of the hatch of the station’s Harmony module at 9:10 a.m. ET (6:10 a.m. PT). There will then be a short break in coverage, which will resume at 10:45 a.m. ET (7:45 a.m. PT) to show the undocking of the Dragon at 11:05 a.m. ET (8:05 a.m. PT), with coverage ending 30 minutes after undocking.
You can watch the livestream of the hatch closing and the undocking on NASA’s YouTube channel, or by using the video embedded near the top of this page.
The crew will then travel back to Earth throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday, May 31. When the Crew Dragon is approaching Earth for splashdown, you’ll be able to tune into a livestream from Axiom Space. That will be available on Axiom’s website, but the company has not yet confirmed the exact time that coverage is expected to begin on Wednesday. You can find the latest updates on Axiom Twitter.
What to expect from the mission departure
The Ax-2 crew will have spent 10 days in space before heading home, and they will be bringing around 300 pounds of cargo back with them. The mission is notable for including the first two astronauts from Saudi Arabia, Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, as well as famous American astronaut Peggy Whitson who has spent more days in space than any other American or any other woman.
Axiom Space launched its first private mission to the ISS in April last year, with a third mission planned for November this year and a fourth planned for 2024.
NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Captures ''Heart-Shaped'' Glacier On Pluto's Surface – NDTV
Space agency NASA routinely captures stunning images of our universe, leaving space lovers mesmerized. On Sunday, NASA shared a stunning image on Instagram taken by its New Horizons spacecraft showing a heart-shaped glacier on Pluto’s surface. The heart-shaped region is known unofficially as Tombaugh Regio and is made of nitrogen and methane.
The image was captioned as ”Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Our New Horizons spacecraft captured this heart-shaped glacier. It lies on Pluto’s surface, which also features mountains, cliffs, valleys, craters, and plains, thought to be made of methane and nitrogen ice ”
See the image here:
It described the image as ”Pluto’s surface is marked with cracks and craters in shades of brown. The partially visible heart appears in the lower right of the small world, which is surrounded by black space.”
New Horizons launched in January 2006 and reached Pluto in July 2015, flying within 7,800 miles of its surface, and becoming the first probe to fly by Pluto and its moons. The far-traveling spacecraft also visited a distant Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule (2014 MU69) in January 2019.
Instagram users loved the picture and shared a variety of comments. One user wrote, ”Wouahh what a great capture, thanks to New Horizon spacecraft.” Another commented, ”For me, Pluto will always be a planet.”
A third said, ”Why is Pluto, not a plane? it literally has a heart!” A fourth added, ”Being afar doesn’t mean you aren’t part of the family.”
Pluto was once considered the ninth planet in the solar system, however, it was demoted in 2006 and reclassified as a dwarf planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet.
Pluto is slightly over 1,400 miles (2250 km) wide or about half the breadth of the United States or two-thirds the width of the Moon. With its average temperature of -387F (-232C) – Pluto’s surface is coated in ice made of water, methane, and nitrogen and is believed to have a rocky core and possibly a deep ocean.
This Week @NASA: Private Astronaut Mission, Autonomous Snake-Like Robot Explorer, TROPICS Launch – SciTechDaily
The second all-private astronaut mission to the space station …
Completing the set of tiny severe weather trackers …
And a robotic explorer – with a twist …
A few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at <span class="glossaryLink" aria-describedby="tt" data-cmtooltip="
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”["attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"]”>NASA!
Second Private Astronaut Mission to the Space Station
On May 21, a <span class="glossaryLink" aria-describedby="tt" data-cmtooltip="
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”["attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"]”>SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Axiom Mission 2, the second all private astronaut mission to the International Space Station.
The four-person crew, commanded by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, is scheduled to spend several days conducting research, outreach, and commercial activities on the space station.
Final Pair of Storm-Observing CubeSats Launched
The final two CubeSats for NASA’s TROPICS mission launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on May 26. The small satellites will join two other identical spacecraft that launched to orbit earlier this month.
All four will fly, as a constellation, in a unique low Earth orbit that will allow them to observe tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, more often than what is possible with
current weather satellites.
Autonomous Snake-Like Robotic Explorer
A team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is creating and testing a snake-like robot called EELS, short for Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor. The self-propelled, autonomous robot is
being developed to go where other robots can’t go.
Although it was inspired by a desire to look for signs of life in the sub-surface ocean on <span class="glossaryLink" aria-describedby="tt" data-cmtooltip="
” data-gt-translate-attributes=”["attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"]”>Saturn’s icy moon, Enceladus, EELS is not currently part of any NASA mission.
Artemis Rocket Engine Test Series Continues
On May 23, NASA’s Stennis Space Center conducted a hot fire test of an RS-25 rocket engine. It was the eighth hot fire of the current 12-test series to certify production of new RS-25s.
Four of the engines will help power NASA’s Space Launch System rocket on future Artemis missions to the Moon.
That’s what’s up this week @NASA.
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