Israeli Astronaut to Return to Earth amidst Weather Delays

In recent news, Eytan Stibbe, an astronaut from the State of Israel, will soon be returning to earth. His departure from the International Space Station has been scheduled for the beginning of the next week. The company in charge of the mission announced that his trip back is finally going to take place after being delayed two times due to unfavorable weather conditions. Stibbe and several other members working at Axiom-1 will be departing from the space station on Saturday evening. Being the first of its kind, the private mission to the ISS will make its landing off the coast of Florida at around 1:46 pm. The statement released by Axiom Space, based in the US, said that the times were picked based on appropriate weather for splashdown. In addition, the departure, as well as the landing will be streamed and broadcast live. 

Axiom further added that NASA and the company itself had previously braced themselves for the return to be delayed. It revealed that additional provisions had been provided to the astronauts to ensure that they had ample resources if they had to stay on for another couple of days. The crew stated that its stay on the ISS was ultimately going to be a couple of days longer than it was originally planned. Axiom disclosed that it had been in touch with the Ax-1 crew, who reported that they are healthy, as well as the Dragon spacecraft. Dragon is the SpaceX shuttle that the team used to make its journey to the ISS. The planned return of the astronauts was delayed on Tuesday when the company announced that it was trying to figure out what the best time would be to bring the crew back to earth. 

A former fighter pilot and businessman, Stibbe, is amongst the four astronauts who made the journey to the ISS earlier in the month. They are a part of the privately funded mission, which docked at the station just a day after its take off. During the crew’s stay aboard the space station, it was required to stick to a regimented schedule. This included activities to be carried out over a span of approximately 14 hours a day, which included conducting scientific research. Ilan Ramon, the first astronaut from the State of Israel, was murdered in the year 2003. At the time, the Space Shuttle Columbia had disintegrated when it re-entered the atmosphere. 

Thus, all seven members on board lost their lives. Members of the Ramon family were in complete support of the Axiom mission, which included Stibbe. From the time the mission was first announced in 2020 to take-off from Orlando, the family members showed their excitement for the private mission. Stibbe took a couple of pages from the space diary of the first Israeli astronaut. He was also given a couple of mementos by Ramon’s children to carry them with him to the ISS. As opposed to the recent suborbital flights that were conducted primarily to grab attention, Axiom’s mission was focused on achieving scientific goals. The company stated that its mission should not be compared to those of Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.

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