Falcon 9 • Axiom Mission 2
May 21, 2023 at 5:37 p.m. EDT
SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches Axiom Mission 2, the second private spaceflight participant mission to the International Space Station from Florida's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A.
The crew Dragon “Freedom” spacecraft carried retired NASA astronaut and commander Peggy Whitson, pilot John Shoffner, and mission specialists Ali Alqarni and Rayyanah Barnawi of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Eight and a half minutes after liftoff, the rocket's reusable first stage booster B1076-2 landed at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
This mission marks the first return to launch site landing of a crewed mission. SpaceX's high Starlink launch cadence has shown the Falcon 9 rocket has a bit of extra performance to enable the booster’s return to Florida for landing.
After spending 10 days in the orbiting laboratory, Dragon Freedom splashed down off the coast of Florida at 11:04 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 30.