NASA’s first paid astronauts to visit the International Space Station (ISS) have said they would love to go to the Moon next.
Four private astronauts, who arrived at the ISS on an eight-day stay on April 9, were answering questions from students in a special broadcast (below) from the orbiting post on Wednesday.
Asked if they are ready for a more challenging lunar mission, American entrepreneur Larry Connor responded quickly.
“The short answer is, we’re all in, we’ve actually talked about it,” Connor said. “Universally, that’s a resounding yes, so please let the folks at NASA know that the Ax-1 crew is up to the challenge.”
Of course, the chances of a paying astronaut going to the Moon are currently very remote, and goodness knows what the bill would be for such a trip, given that the X-1 crew gets $55 each. million had to be paid. Relatively short stay on the space station.
Connor is traveling with fellow private astronauts, Mark Pethe, a Canadian investor and philanthropist; Ayton Stibbe, former pilot of the Israeli Air Force; and Michael Lopez-Alegria, former NASA astronaut and commander of the X-1 mission.
Organized by Texas-based Axiom Space and using SpaceX hardware, the mission has sent paying astronauts to the ISS for the first time. Other paid astronauts have visited the station over the years, but those missions were organized by Roscosmos, the Russian equivalent of NASA.
The students also asked questions about the kind of food they were eating on the ISS, how they slept, the beautiful things they saw in space, and the kind of science research they were doing.
When asked what it’s like to be in microgravity conditions, Pethy replied, “The closest thing I can relate to would be swimming, maybe, but that’s also very different,” noting that Once you start swimming, you can no longer use your hands. Stop moving yourself as far as you can in the water.
At this point, Connor attempts to do a flip, to demonstrate microgravity. But as soon as he does so, he accidentally kicks off the camera, sparking a lot of laughter among the students looking back at Earth due to the unexpected disaster.
The X-1 team is set to return home on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on April 18.
To learn more about how astronauts live and work in space, check out these insightful videos created by former ISS residents.