Four astronauts from the private Ax-3 mission will blast off from the International Space Station in their SpaceX Dragon capsule earlier Monday (Feb. 5), and you can watch the action live.
Ax-3's Crew Dragon “Freedom” is scheduled to lift off from the orbiting lab at 6:05 a.m. EST (1105 GMT) on Saturday (Feb. 3). Bad weather in the Freedom's splashdown zone — the ocean off the coast of Florida — however, halted that plan; Not open before Monday.
Whenever it takes off, you can watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or Directly through the company.
Related: Live updates of the Ax-3 private space mission
Ax-3 is the third crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) organized by Houston-based company Axiom Space, after similar attempts in April 2022 and May 2023.
Jan. 18, the X-3 launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, sending four crew members aloft. They are Ax-3 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut who is now Axiom Space's chief astronaut; Pilot Walter Villadei, a colonel in the Italian Air Force; Mission Specialist Alper Gezeravcı, Turkey's first astronaut; and mission specialist Marcus Wand, a reserve astronaut for the European Space Agency.
López-Alegria holds dual US-Spanish citizenship, so Axiom Space Ax-3 is the first all-European crewed mission to the ISS.
Ax-3 is the first orbital mission for Villadei, Gezeravcı and Wandt (although Villadei went into subspace with Virgin Galactic last year). Lopez-Alegria, by contrast, is an old hand; Ax-3 was his sixth orbital mission. One of his previous missions was Ax-1 in 2022, making him the first person to fly twice in a Dragon capsule.
The Ax-3 quartet has been performing more than 30 different scientific experiments during their time in orbit, including physics and space medicine. Some of their research will help Axiom Space improve its training programs ahead of future missions, company representatives said.
As Ax-3 wraps up, SpaceX is gearing up for another space flight: the Crew-8 mission for NASA, which will send four astronauts to the ISS for a stay of about six months. Crew-8 is currently on Feb. Targeted departure on 22nd.
Editor's note: This story was updated on February 3 at 2:10 a.m. EST.