SpaceX launches first all-civilian crew into orbit

SpaceX launched its first all-civilian space mission to orbit on September 15. Here are 5 things about SpaceX first all-civilian space mission, Inspiration4.

Created On: Sep 7, 2021 12:04 ISTModified On: Sep 16, 2021 11:38 IST

SpaceX Inspiration4 Launch: SpaceX blasted off the first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4 on the Falcon 9 rocket inside of the Crew Dragon spacecraft ‘Resilience’ from the Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Centre of NASA in Florida in the US at 8.02 pm EDT (5.32 am IST) on September 15, 2021.

Onboard, four private citizens namely a billionaire e-commerce executive Jared Isaacman and his crewmates Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux, and Chris Sembroski marked the first crewed space mission to Earth’s orbit with no professional astronauts on the spacecraft. They will stay in the orbital altitude of 575 km above Earth for three days and splashdown in the Atlantic ocean.

Where can you watch the Inspiration4 launch?

You can watch the historic launch of the Inspiration4 mission on the webcast of SpaceX that went live 4 hours before the lift-off of the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit.

What is SpaceX Inspiration4?

Inspiration4 is the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit with no professional astronauts on board. The mission will be launched on September 15, 2021, with four private citizens on board. The mission will be launched on the Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX inside of a Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Centre of NASA in Florida in the US.

Inspiration4 will orbit Earth at 575 km, which will be higher than the International Space Station (408 km), and the Hubble Space telescope (547 km). Since servicing mission-4 of the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009, Inspiration4 will be the first crewed spaceflight that will go the farthest distance traveled by a crewed mission.

What is the cost of SpaceX all-civilian flight?

As per the Inspiration4 mission website, 38-year-old Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, had bought four seats reportedly for $200 million on the Crew Dragon spacecraft dubbed ‘Resilience’. With over 6,000 hours of piloting various aircraft, Isaacman will be the commander of Inspiration4. He will be joined by physician assistant Haley Arceneaux, geoscientist and science communication specialist Sian Proctor, and data engineer Chris Sembroski.

What is the duration of Inspiration4 Mission?

Inspiration4 Mission will be a three-day flight that will orbit Earth every 90 minutes along a customized flight path. Upon completion of the mission, the Dragon spacecraft will re-enter the atmosphere of Earth to soft-land in the Atlantic Ocean.

Which launch vehicle and spacecraft will be used for Inspiration4 Mission?

The Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX will be used as the launch vehicle. The rocket will be placed inside of a Dragon spacecraft. The Falcon 9 rocket has been designed and manufactured by SpaceX. It is a reusable, two-stage rocket for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into the orbit of Earth and beyond. Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket.

The Dragon spacecraft is the first private spacecraft that can take humans to the space station. It is currently capable of carrying up to seven passengers to and from the orbit of Earth.

As per reports, the module of the Dragon spacecraft for the Inspiration4 mission has been modified by replacing the docking port with a dome glass window giving 360 degrees views outside the spacecraft. The docking port of the spacecraft is usually used to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). The dome glass window has been based on the Cupola Module on the ISS.

What are the objectives of Inspiration4 Mission?

Study Human Body in Space

As per reports, the crew will collect data about their ECG activity, sleep, movement, blood oxygen levels, heart rate, and rhythm as well as the light and sound levels within the Crew Dragon cabin. They will also collect data about their cognitive and behavioral performance, monitor their organs through an AI-powered ultrasound device, and conduct medical experiments in zero gravity conditions. All of these will help in gathering a huge amount of health data that will aid in further crewed missions in time.

Raise $200 Million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

With this mission, the crew will also be raising awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The mission will raise funds for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Training of Inspiration4 Mission crew

The four-member crew of the Inspiration4 Mission has received their commercial astronaut training by SpaceX including operating in microgravity and zero-gravity environment, orbital mechanics, emergency preparedness training, stress testing, mission simulations, and learning about the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the Dragon spacecraft.

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