The first Turkish astronaut and three European companions arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday.
The flight of the American space company SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft was organized by a Texas-based startup, Axiom Space. The spacecraft was launched from the Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday and docked with the International Space Station, orbiting at an altitude of 400 kilometers above the Earth's surface, about 36 hours later.
There are four people on board: the Spanish-American dual national, former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez Alegria, who is the mission commander, in addition to the Italian Walter Viladi, the Swede Marcus Wandt, and the Turkish Albert Gezeravci. The first Turkish citizen in outer space – MTI announced.
At the International Space Station, the new arrivals were received by two Americans from NASA, an astronaut from Japan and Denmark, and three Russian astronauts.
The 14-day Ax-3 mission was prepared by private company Axiom Space in cooperation with NASA.
The quartet plans to conduct more than thirty experiments, most of which will investigate the effects of spaceflight on human health and disease, but there will also be an experiment that studies the behavior of different metal alloys in space.
This is Axiom's third commercial space mission of this type. The company requests at least $55 million (19 billion forints) per astronaut from countries and companies that use its services.
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