SpaceX's All-Civilian Mission Launches to Orbit: What's Next for the Crew?

In a first initiative to make space accessible to common people Space X launched four amateur astronauts into space.

Tech and Auto
2 min read
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SpaceX's charity-driven mission, Inspiration4, run by billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, launched its first all-civilian mission to orbit on Wednesday, 15 September.

In a first initiative to make space accessible to common people, the space company launched four amateur astronauts into space on its Falcon-9 rocket on a three-day trip around earth.

Inspiration4 lifted off at 8:02 pm EDT Wednesday (5.30 am IST Thursday) aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It is worth noting that the mission is commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman along with medical officer Haley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St Jude Children's Research Hospital and pediatric cancer survivor, mission specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer, and mission pilot Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur, and trained pilot.


"Liftoff of @Inspiration4X! Go Falcon 9! Go Dragon!," SpaceX shared in a tweet.

"Congratulations, #Inspiration4! Proud to provide the launchpad from @NASAKennedy for the first spaceflight with an all-private crew. Today's launch represents a significant milestone in the quest to make space for everybody," said NASA in a tweet.

What's Next for the Inspiration4 Crew in Space?

The crew will orbit earth aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule every 90 minutes along a customised flight path.

After three days of voyage to space, Dragon and the Inspiration4 crew will re-enter the earth's atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.

According to the Inspiration4 team, the Dragon has a dome window, inspired by the Cupola on the International Space Station, and will provide the crew with incredible views of the earth.

"The #Inspiration4 launch reminds us of what can be accomplished when we partner with private industry! A commercial capability to fly private missions is the culmination of NASA's vision with @Commercial_Crew," Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator tweeted.

SpaceX CEO Musk visited the crew before launch.

During the voyage, the crew members will partake in a first-of-its-kind health research initiative to increase humanity's knowledge on the impact of a space flight on the human body.

In addition, SpaceX, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine will collect environmental and biomedical data and biological samples from Inspiration4's four crew members before, during, and after this historic space flight.

The three-day mission will target approximately a 575 km orbit, flying farther from earth than any human space flight since the Hubble Space Telescope repair missions.

Richard Branson's Voyage to Space

Earlier in July, Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson flew to the edge of space with three employees, including one of Indian-origin, heralding a new space tourism era. His flight climbed nearly 86 km above the earth's surface.

He was followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who flew beyond the Karman line –100 km above the ground and the internationally recognised boundary of space – on-board his company Blue Origin's fully automated and reusable New Shepard rocket.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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Topics:  Elon Musk   Space X 

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