NASA says bad weather is continuing to delay the return of the Axiom 1 mission from the International Space Station, slated to bring home four astronauts, including Israel’s Eytan Stibbe.
“Due to unfavorable weather forecasts, we are still assessing when it’s safe to bring the #Ax1 mission home from the @Space_Station,” NASA tweets.
The mission had originally been slated to leave the station over 24 hours earlier, but has been delayed by weather several times, casting a shadow over the first US-led commercial space tourism mission, which had mostly avoided hitches thus far.
As the weather forecast remains unfavorable, we're still assessing the best time to undock the #Ax1 mission from @Space_Station. We’ll be reviewing throughout the day. Really proud of the @NASA, @Axiom_Space, & @SpaceX teams for remaining focused as we carry out our mission. 1/2
— Kathy Lueders (@KathyLueders) April 20, 2022
Ran Livne, the head of the Ilan Ramon Center, which was involved in sending Stibbe skyward, tells Channel 13 news that there are seven possible splashdown spots, but they all have high waves “so they decided not to risk the lives of the crew.”
“We were joking with colleagues at NASA that we know how to send capsules to the space station, but can’t control the weather,” he says.
Speaking before NASA announced the delay, he said if it was delayed again, it would likely mean Stibbe would be staying in space for another 24 hours.