At 5:17 p.m., the Axiom-1 spacecraft took off from platform 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a Crew Dragon capsule from Elon Musk’s company. It is now heading towards the orbital platform. Tomorrow, it will dock at 2:45 pm.

The Crew Dragon crew will arrive at the complex three hours later. The ISS crew 67 will receive them: three American astronauts and three other Russians as well as the European Matthias Maurer. Michael Lopez-Alegria (commander of Ax-1), and his three companions are investors who each paid 55 million dollars for their tickets. They will spend eight days at the station, performing outreach activities and experiments. The former astronaut from NASA, born in Madrid in 1958 and having been on four space missions, will fly for the first time in Spain as a representative.

Lopez-Alegria, vice president of AxiomSpace, hopes to be a major player in the rapidly growing space tourism industry. In the next few years, the company will attach several modules to ISS, which, once it is retired, would be the first private station on Earth orbit.