NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX Teams Wave-Off Ax-1 Undocking – Space Station Reboosts

SpaceX Dragon Endurance Crew Ship Harmony Module

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship is pictured from a window aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship. Endurance is docked to the Harmony module’s forward-facing port while Endeavour is docked to Harmony’s space-facing port on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

At the conclusion of a weather briefing ahead of today’s planned undocking, NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX teams elected to wave off today’s undocking attempt due to a diurnal low wind trough which has been causing marginally high winds at the splashdown sites. The Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) private astronaut crew is now targeting to undock from the International Space Station (ISS) at 8:55 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 24. To wave off means to postpone the landing of a spacecraft at the last minute to predictions of bad weather at the landing site.

The planned time for undocking was at 6:35 p.m. EDT today, Saturday, April 23, 2022. The previous target was to undock at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, but that was also waved off due to unfavorable weather conditions expected at the splashdown sites.

Weather permitting, the Ax-1 crew is targeted to close the hatch at about 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 24, to begin the journey home in SpaceX Dragon Endeavour with splashdown off the coast of Florida at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Monday, April 25.

SpaceX Dragon Endeavour Crew Ship Docked to ISS Harmony Module

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter. Endeavour carried four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, Pilot Larry Connor, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy, to the International Space Station for several days of research, education, and commercial activities. Credit: NASA

NASA Ax-1 return coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Sunday, April 24

  • 6:30 p.m. – Coverage begins for hatch closure at approximately 6:45 p.m.
  • 8:30 p.m. – Coverage begins for undocking at about 8:55 p.m.

Axiom Space will resume coverage of Dragon’s re-entry and splashdown beginning at noon Monday, April 25, on the company’s website.

The Russian Progress 79 fired its thrusters for 10 minutes, 23 seconds today at 9:25 a.m. This space station reboost maneuver optimizes phasing for future visiting vehicles arriving at the station. The reboost increased the orbiting laboratory’s altitude by 9/10 of a mile at apogee and 1.3 miles at perigee and left the station in an orbit of 264.7 x 254.2 statute miles.

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