Fri, 22 Sep 2023

LOS ANGELES, May 22 (Xinhua) -- SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft carrying four private astronauts docked to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday.

The spacecraft lifted from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:37 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday. The crew docked to the ISS at 9:12 a.m. Monday.

The mission, codenamed Ax-2, is Axiom Space's second all-private astronaut mission to the ISS following the first mission in 2022.

The four-member crew include mission commander Peggy Whitson, pilot John Shoffner from the United States and two mission specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The crew is scheduled to spend about eight days on the ISS, performing over 20 science and technology experiments in areas such as human physiology and physical sciences to help expand knowledge to benefit life on Earth in areas such as healthcare, materials, technology development, and enable industrial advances.

The four astronauts are expected to depart the space station on May 30, for a return to Earth and splashdown at a landing site off the coast of Florida.

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