Israeli Astronaut Eytan Stibbe Arrives At The International Space Station
The SpaceX Dragon capsule docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, with four astronauts including Israel’s Eytan Stibbe, the second-ever Israeli astronaut to head to space. Stibbe and the other astronauts entered the ISS as part of the world’s first fully private mission to the station.
“After a journey of almost 21 hours, Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy arrived at the International Space Station at 8:29 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 9. The SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft docked to the orbital complex while the spacecraft were flying about 260 miles above the Atlantic Ocean.” Axiom Space reported on their website.
The crew arrived at the ISS and entered shortly after at 10:13 am EDT. They were welcomed by the current Space Station crews.
The three first-time fliers, Stibbe, Larry Connor of Ohio, and Mark Pathy of Canada were pinned as the world’s newest astronauts in a brief ceremony. Ax-1 commander Michael López-Alegría is now the first former NASA astronaut to return to the space station.
“I’ll take the opportunity to say a few words in Hebrew on the International Space Station,” Stibbe said before switching to his native language. “Welcome to the International Space Station. It’s the first time that it’s possible to speak in Hebrew here,” he said. “It’s a workgroup that will operate together, we’ll help each other reach our goals. Each of us has come with a full plan of work. Good luck to everyone. Good luck to Rakia.”
Stibbe, a former fighter pilot and the second-ever Israeli to go to space, is carrying some 35 experiments for companies and research institutions on the privately funded Rakia Mission to the orbiting lab.
The Axiom crew’s arrival was delayed by about 45 minutes on Saturday due to an issue with a camera feed from abroad the Dragon. SpaceX’s flight controllers in Hawthorne, California were able to find a way to work around it.