The Falcon 9 launch vehicle launched from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome.

SpaceX launched a launch vehicle with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on Friday, which will deliver a crew consisting entirely of private individuals to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch was broadcast on the website of SpaceX and the aerospace company Axiom Space, which organized the Axiom-1 commercial mission.

The Falcon 9 launch vehicle launched from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome (Florida) at 11:17 local time. The crew of the commercial mission included three businessmen and investors from the USA, Israel and Canada – Larry Connor, Eitan Stibbe and Mark Pathy. Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria participates in the crew as a commander.

The Space News portal previously claimed that Connor, Stibbe and Pathy each paid $55 million for the opportunity to go to the ISS. Lopez-Alegria is flying at the expense of Axiom Space, in which he is vice president. It is expected that after the docking of the spacecraft with the ISS, scheduled for 07:45 Saturday, the crew will stay on board the space station for eight days. They will have to implement 25 research projects, including the study of the effects of space flights on cells and the heart, and educational.

The first stage of the launch vehicle landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean approximately nine minutes after launch in automatic mode. Previously, this Falcon 9 element was used in four SpaceX launches. This technology allows the company to reduce the cost of launches. The Crew Dragon capsule has previously delivered the crew to the ISS twice.

Created in 2016 and based in Houston (Texas), Axiom Space, having decided to stake out a plot in the developing space tourism market, in March 2020 signed a contract with SpaceX, which provides for four missions to deliver those who want to go into orbit to the ISS. The company, which is headed by the former head (2005-2015) of the ISS program at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Michael Saffredini, also agreed with the space agency that its tourists will be provided access to the American sector of the station.