Alongside a retired National Aeronautics and Space Administration cosmonaut, the men launched from Florida on Friday as a part of a private SpaceX launch.
The four men were welcome aboard the ISS on Saturday by the crew there as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration joined Russia in hosting guests at the world’s most costly tourer destination.
The American, Canadian, and Israeli businessmen paid $55m (£42m) for the rocket ride and accommodation.
The launch, codenamed Ax-1, was commissioned by Axiom space, a U.S. space infrastructure developer.
Michael López-Alegría, the former NASA astronaut who escorted the men, is the company’s vice president of business development.
The launch was the sixth human spaceflight conducted by SpaceX and the 1st personal launch that it’s docked with the ISS.
The four men say they’re not tourists as they’ll be conducting commercial, scientific research while onboard, including “self-assembling technology for satellites and future space habitats, cancer stem cell study, and air purification.”
Axiom describes the mission as its opening towards building a commercial space station, which NASA expects to take off over the next few years, ultimately leading to pulling the ISS out of the sky.
The U.S. response to the Russian war in Ukraine has led to the head of Roscosmos pledging to no longer collaborate on the international project.
NASA’s plans, which pre-date the invasion and sanctions, might mean the ISS is taken out of orbit in January 2031 and crashed into a “spacecraft cemetery” within the most remote part of the Earth’s surface.
Mr. Lopez-Alegria said he plans to avoid talking about politics and the crisis in Ukraine while he’s at the space station.
“I honestly think that it won’t be awkward. I mean maybe a tiny bit,” he said, adding that he expects the “spirit of collaboration will shine through.”