The third crew of the private space company Axiom Space, which recently visited the International Space Station (ISS), returned safely to Earth on 9 February after being in orbit for just over two weeks.
Space waltz.— Marcus Wandt (@astro_marcus) February 11, 2024
The training prepared me for most of my tasks during the #Muninn mission on the @Space_Station.
But one thing that is difficult to train for is the feeling of microgravity, or how much I have to push myself to get my body translating into the velocity I want, or… pic.twitter.com/bqoeiK9bF6
Walter Villadei, Alper Geseravci, Marcus Wandt and professional astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria left the orbital outpost on Wednesday. It happened four days later than originally planned, due to poor weather conditions at the landing site off the coast of Daytona, Florida.
The day after his return to Earth, Swedish-born Wandt shared a video on social media called “Space Waltz”. Wandt, who has spent much of his time aboard the ISS conducting scientific research and taking stunning photographs of the Earth, said the video shows him practicing various manoeuvres that helped him move around the station more easily in microgravity.
There have been many private flights to the ISS over the years, but most of them have been organised by Russia’s Roscosmos space agency and were performed using outdated Soyuz spacecraft. Axiom Space missions use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets and modern Crew Dragon spacecraft launched from the United States.
NASA began organising private orbital flights in 2019 after entering into a partnership with Texas-based Axiom Space. The space agency said that the benefits of the initiative include lowering the cost of access to low Earth orbit and expanding the range of commercial activities that can be carried out in an orbiting laboratory at an altitude of about 400 km above the Earth.
Axiom Space made its first private flight to the ISS in April 2022. The next fourth flight is scheduled for October this year at the earliest.
Earlier, we reported how Samantha Cristoforetti cosplayed the film Space Odyssey 2001.