A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is currently flying NASA’s second all-private mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Following a successful launch from the Kennedy Space Center aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Sunday afternoon, Americans Peggy Whitson and John Shoffner, along with Saudis Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi, are set to reach the orbital laboratory Monday morning ET.
Whitson is a retired NASA astronaut who now works for Axiom Space, which is organizing the current Ax-2 mission. Shoffner is a businessman and investor who is paying his own way to orbit, while Alqarni and Barnawi are funded by the Saudi Space Commission and will be the first people from their country to visit the ISS.
NASA will live stream the arrival of the crew, including the autonomous approach, docking and welcome ceremony performed by the seven astronauts currently living and working aboard the ISS.
The four crew members will remain aboard the station for eight days before returning home for a splashdown off the coast of Florida.
“Congratulations to Axiom, SpaceX and the Axiom Mission 2 crew on a successful launch,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on Sunday. “During their time aboard the International Space Station, the Ax-2 astronauts will conduct more than 20 science experiments that will help us better understand space radiation, low-gravity weather, and more. This mission is yet another testament to NASA’s commitment to to help our industry partners develop the next generation of space technology and support a growing commercial space economy.”
NASA will begin its coverage at 7:30 a.m. ET on Monday, May 22, with experts on hand to explain the finer points of the arrival process that takes place about 250 miles above Earth.
Viewers will get to see Crew Dragon dock autonomously with the space station’s Harmony module around 9:16 a.m. ET.
This will be followed by the hatch opening at around 11:13 a.m. ET and the welcoming ceremony around 11:45 a.m. ET.
You can watch the coverage via the player embedded at the top of this page or by visiting NASA website.