A group of four astronauts, all of them European, landed off the coast of in on Friday morning, completing the company’s third private mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The mission, called Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3), was the company’s first release in which the three paid seats were purchased by national agencies rather than wealthy individuals.

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A live broadcast showed how a capsule SpaceX Crew Dragon call “Freedom” floated down by parachute to the Atlantic Ocean, where she was intercepted and taken aboard a recovery ship.

“I am very proud of my crewmates on the Ax-3 that helped their agencies achieve all of their scientific objectives, technology demonstrations and training events. divulgationsaid the chief astronaut of Axiom, Michael López-Alegría, of Spanish and American nationality, in addition to ex-astronaut of the POT in a farewell ceremony before returning to the Land.

Initially, the mission was to last two weeks, but the return trip was delayed by several days due to bad weather, forcing a final 18-day stay on the ISS.

Traveling with López-Alegría was the pilot and colonel of the Turkish air forces. Alper Gezeravci; colonel of the italian air force walter Villadeiwho had already flown to the edge of space in a space plane Virgin Galactic; and the swedish Marcus Wandtwhich also represented the European Space Agency.

Countries with space programs are increasingly turning to the private sector to fulfill their space ambitions. Türkiyewhose astronaut participated for the first time, celebrated the mission as a sign of its growing importance on the world stage.

The crew carried out 30 experimentsdeepening knowledge about the impact of microgravity on the human body and the advancement of industrial processes, among others.

Axiom Space was founded in 2016 by Michael Suffrediniformer program director ISS of the POTand the businessman Kam Ghaffarian.

In addition to organizing private missions to the orbital outpost, the company develops spacesuits for future missions of the POT to the Moon.

It is also building a commercial space station that it intends to initially dock with the ISS, then detach and orbit independently at some point before the latter retires.

The exact costs of the Ax-3 have not been revealed, but in 2018, when the company first announced the program, which involves renting hardware SpaceX and pay the POT for the services, set a price of $55 million per seat.


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