A SpaceX Dragon capsule carrying the first fully private space crew has docked with the International Space Station. The quartet launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday morning without any major hiccups. Their journey to the ISS took around 20 hours. The Dragon ran into a video routing problem before the docking sequence could start, causing a 45 minute-delay as it stayed roughly 20 meters away from the ISS while SpaceX was troubleshooting the issue.
The crew members — commander and former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría and businessmen Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy — are expected to spend eight days on the space station. They'll conduct science experiments, along with outreach and commercial activities. They'll also bring some scientific samples back to Earth for NASA as well.
Axiom Space's first all-civilian mission, AX-1, is the first of several private ISS missions the company plans to launch in the coming years. It will build the first commercial module on the space station as well as a module that houses a sports arena and film studio. The Axiom Station and attached film studio module are expected to separate from the ISS in 2028.
Mariella Moon contributed to this report.