Inspiration4, the first entirely civilian space mission is ready to take off in a Dragon capsule from SpaceX this Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as scheduled until today.
With 80% of favorable weather conditions, the weather seems to contribute its part in the face of the planned launch starting at 8:00 p.m. this Wednesday (00.00 GMT on Thursday, September 16) of the Falcon 9 rocket, on which it will be mounted. the Dragon capsule, both from the private firm SpaceX, responsible for this three-day mission and in which NASA will be a mere spectator.
SpaceX: Who manned the Dragon capsule?
A businessman, an engineer, a medical assistant and a science educator will go aboard the capsule, which on its orbital journey will reach a height of almost 360 miles (575 km), more than the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble space telescope.
At a speed of about 28,160 km per hour (17,500 mph), the capsule will circle the planet every 90 minutes, in which it is a journey of greater scope than those recently made by millionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos.
Inside the ships of their respective private space companies, both made suborbital trips at a speed three times the speed of sound that allowed them to experience weightlessness for a few minutes.
In Inspiration4, the only billionaire is Commander Jared Isaacman, 38, founder and president of the firm Shift4 Payments, lover of aviation and who financed the space voyage of the other three crew members, at an undisclosed amount.
With him will travel Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a cancer survivor and assistant physician at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who will be the youngest person to fly into orbital space.
Also attending are university professor Sian Proctor and aerospace engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski.
All of them are civilians who have received training for several months at SpaceX’s base in Hawthorne, California, which included maneuvers in zero gravity and practices with the gravitational forces they will experience in space.
Civilians have been prepared for emergencies, ship and space suit entry and exit exercises, as well as partial and full mission simulations.
Instead of the ring near the nose with which it is attached to the LES, Dragon will have a “widely tested and flight-rated” observation dome, according to SpaceX, which promises unimaginable views.
What is SpaceX’s mission with Inspiration4?
The mission, which is a matter of a series from the Netflix platform, has a charitable component since it will serve to raise funds in favor of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, a campaign started by Isaacman himself with a donation of 100 million dollars and who hopes in the end to double that figure.
After taking off from Cape Canaveral and spending three days in space, the Dragon capsule will cross Earth’s atmosphere to land off the coast of Florida.
SpaceX, founded by tycoon Elon Musk, will thus add another milestone in terms of space transport operated by private firms, after starting in 2020 to carry out roundtrip manned flights from US soil to the ISS.
Boeing, the other company under contract with NASA to transport astronauts to the ISS, had to suspend the second test mission of its Starliner capsule last month due to valve failure in its powertrain.