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Axiom Mission 2
Axiom-2 Launch Show & Liftoff (KSC-20230521-PH-JBS01 0059) (cropped).jpg
A Falcon 9 launches Freedom and the Ax-2 crew to the International Space Station
Mission typePrivate spaceflight to ISS
OperatorAxiom Space
COSPAR ID2023-070A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.56739Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration9 days, 5 hours and 27 minutes
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCrew Dragon Freedom
Crew size4
Start of mission
Launch date21 May 2023, 21:37 UTC[1]
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5 B1080.1
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
End of mission
Recovered byMegan (ship)
Landing date31 May 2023, 03:04 UTC
Landing siteGulf of Mexico
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Docking with ISS
Docking portHarmony zenith
Docking date22 May 2023, 13:12 UTC
Undocking date30 May 2023, 15:05 UTC
Time docked8 days, 1 hour and 53 minutes[2]
Axiom Mission 2 Patch.png

Axiom Mission 2 patch
Ax-2 Crew Portrait.jpg

(L-R) Whitson, Shoffner, AlQarni and Barnawi 

Axiom Mission 2 (or Ax-2) was a private crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), operated by Axiom Space. Ax-2 was launched on 21 May 2023 on a SpaceX Falcon 9, and successfully docked on 22 May.[3][2]

Ax-2 is the second Axiom mission after Axiom Mission 1 in April 2022 and the third private crewed SpaceX Dragon mission.


The crew includes former NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson as mission commander and John Shoffner as pilot.[4][5] The two Mission Specialists are Ali AlQarni and Rayyanah Barnawi of the Saudi Space Commission.[6]

On 22 September 2022, Axiom Space announced it had partnered with the Saudi Space Commission to send two Saudi astronauts on Ax-2 to research cancer, cloud seeding, and microgravity in space.[7] This mission included the first female Saudi astronaut to space.[8]

On January 11, 2022, Axiom announced Italian Air Force (ItAF) Colonel Walter Villadei as the company’s first international professional astronaut.[9] Col. Villadei was selected by Axiom as a backup crew member for Ax-2.[10]

Prime crew

Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Peggy Whitson[6], Axiom Space
Fourth spaceflight
Pilot United States John Shoffner[6], Commercial astronaut
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Saudi Arabia Ali AlQarni[6], SSC
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 Saudi Arabia Rayyanah Barnawi[6], SSC
First spaceflight

Backup crew

Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States / Spain Michael López-Alegría[11], Axiom Space
Pilot Italy Walter Villadei[11], Italian Air Force
Mission Specialist 1 Saudi Arabia Ali AlGhamdi[11] SSC
Mission Specialist 2 Saudi Arabia Mariam Fardous[11] SSC


  1. ^ Baylor, Michael. "Falcon 9 Block 5 - Axiom Mission 2 (AX-2)". Next Spaceflight. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
  2. ^ a b "NASA Selects Second Private Astronaut Mission to Space Station". NASA. 13 December 2021. Retrieved 14 December 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Harwood, William (25 May 2021). "Whitson to command planned commercial flight to space station". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Record-holding astronaut Peggy Whitson and mission pilot John Shoffner to lead Axiom Space's Ax-2 mission to enable new research in space". Axiom Space. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e Heidler, Scott. "Ax-2 mission set to launch four private astronauts from Cape Canaveral". WESH2. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Saudi astronauts to research cancer, cloud seeding, microgravity in space". Al Arabiya English. 23 March 2023. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Axiom Space Partners with Saudi Space Commission to Send First Female Saudi Astronaut to Space". Axiom Space. Retrieved 6 April 2023.
  9. ^ "Axiom Space to train Italian Air Force's Col. Walter Villadei as professional astronaut for future space mission". Axiom Space. 11 January 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Axiom Space and Italian Government Sign Historic MOU to Expand Commercial Utilization of Space". Axiom Space. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d Obeid, Ghinwa. "Alarabiya News". Saudi Crown Prince meets with Kingdom’s Axiom Mission 2 crew ahead of launch. Retrieved 21 May 2023.