Space Stations

Axiom Space – Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 7 Update – First Duet in Space and More Research

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
April 15, 2022
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Axiom Space – Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 7 Update – First Duet in Space and More Research
Axiom Space - Ax-1 Mission Flight Day 7 Update - First Duet in Space and More Research.
Axiom Space

Today the Axiom astronauts aboard the International Space Station participated in a wide range of events, from HAM radio to the first-ever music duet performance in space to accomplishing more innovative science.
Ax-1 Commander Michael López-Alegría and Neo-Classical Piano Prodigy BLKBOK made music and space history with their piano and keyboard duet performance of Stars (Ad Astra), a BLKBOK original composition. BLKBOK also performed Rocket Man, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, in a fitting tribute to the 50th anniversary of the iconic track, as well as to Commander López-Alegría and the entire crew. The idea for this history-making performance from space stemmed from a desire by both López-Alegría and BLKBOK to encourage a dialogue about music and education in general and to highlight the importance of STEAM as an educational discipline. As something that they both have experienced to spark their interest and lifelong love of the arts and sciences, they wanted to support the concept of including the Arts, along with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEAM), in education to prepare students to become innovators, in our ever-evolving world. Something they believe is mission critical, not only for the future of the students but for the future of us all.

López-Alegría called to order the Executive Committee of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Committee F47 on Commercial Space from 250 miles above the Earth. In addition to the agenda, López-Alegría shared a congratulatory message to the committee in celebration of the 125th anniversary of ASTM International.

His research engagements for today included monitoring physiological and cognitive data using hardware and software to further understand the effects of microgravity during space missions.

Larry Connor, along with López-Alegría, continued work on the Aging and Heart Health investigation, an experiment from the Mayo Clinic. This study analyzes human cells for genetic markers of cellular aging and explores cardiac-like cells’ adaptation to microgravity.

Eytan Stibbe engaged with Israeli middle school students through a two-way radio communication system, a HAM radio. The students managed the radio communication independently from the ground station for satellite communication at the Science Center in Herzliya in Israel. The initiative is part of the Rakia Mission and was led by The Ramon Foundation, NASA, the Israeli Amateur Radio Association, the Israel Space Agency, and ARISS (American Amateur Radio Association).

Stibbe also spoke with students from the Israeli Space-Startup program. This educational initiative for fifth and sixth graders uses space entrepreneurship practices to inspire students’ curiosity about the world around them. Stibbe and the students started working on this project before the mission, and today’s conversation was an important and exciting milestone in their project. Space-Startup encourages young students to specialize and excel in STEAM fields.

In addition, a festive event took place at the Rakia Mission Control Center in Tel Aviv, in which the artists participating in the Rakia Mission art project spoke to Stibbe and held a series of discussions about the arts and space. During the event, Stibbe presented artwork that used the unique physical conditions of microgravity, such as a sculpture created by radio waves and a specially designed ring to be worn in space.

Mark Pathy answered questions from students attending École Sir John Franklin High School in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Pathy shed light on how the rigorous training process prepared the crew for both the physical and mental aspects of the space mission.

Stibbe and Pathy spoke with students from the Selwyn House School, an independent K-11 boys’ school located in Westmount, Quebec. They shared their experiences viewing Earth from the Cupola and some of their favorite experiments.

Pathy spent time in the Cupola with the blue planet in focus to gather imagery for Earth observation studies to gain deeper insights on changing planetary biology and human urbanization.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.