Israel's second astronaut Eytan Stibbe and the other astronauts aboard the historic Axiom mission 1 (Ax-1) are finally set to return to Earth on Monday after numerous delays.
The SpaceX capsule is set to undock from the International Space Station on Monday at 3:55 a.m. Israel time (Sunday 8:55 p.m. EST) and the astronauts are set to finally return to Earth at 8:00 p.m. Israel time (1:00 p.m. EST)
We now are targeting 8:55pm ET Sun., April 24, for #Ax1 undocking from the @Space_Station due to high winds at the splashdown site. Ax-1 splashdown is about 1 p.m. Mon., April 25. At the moment, no impact to Crew-4’s Wed., April 27 launch date, but still watching weather closely.— Kathy Lueders (@KathyLueders) April 23, 2022
Stibbe, who was conducting 35 experiments as part of the Rakia mission, was originally supposed to end his 10-day stay in space last Wednesday but bad weather conditions forced a delay.
The day before at a farewell ceremony, Stibbe had ironically said "I'm ready to stay here for another month or so."
Ax-1, led by Houston-based start-up Axiom Space in partnership with SpaceX and NASA, is a historic moment for science and space travel. While other private space ventures like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Bramson’s Virgin Galactic focus heavily on space tourism, the Ax-1 mission is entirely science-focused, and is the first to send an all-civilian crew to the ISS to make use of its designed purpose: an orbital laboratory.
During his time in orbit, Stibbe conducted 35 Israeli experiments ranging across a wide variety of fields, including testing or demonstrating the viability of certain technologies, observing scientific phenomena, studying mechanisms of theorized concepts and groundbreaking tests on food and agriculture.