All-private SpaceX astronaut mission on its way home after a week of delays
The first all-private mission to the International Space Station began its return trip Sunday evening after a string of delays dragged the mission out.
The mission, called AX-1, was brokered by the Houston, Texas-based startup Axiom Space, which books rocket rides.
They will spend about one day free flying through orbit before plummeting back into the atmosphere and parachuting to a splashdown landing off the coast of Florida around 1 pm ET Monday.
But the extra days the AX-1 crew spent in space due to weather won't add to their own personal overall price tag, according to a statement from NASA.
It's not the first time paying customers or otherwise non-astronauts have visited the ISS, as Russia has sold seats on its Soyuz spacecraft to various wealthy thrill seekers in years past.
But AX-1 is the first mission with a crew entirely comprised of private citizens.
It's also the first time private citizens have traveled to the ISS on a US-made spacecraft.
The mission has set off yet another round of debate about whether people who pay their way to space should be referred to as "astronauts.
Though the paying customers will not receive astronaut wings from the US government, they were presented with the "Universal Astronaut Insignia."