As Elon Musk’s company enters the field of space tourism, SpaceX will send four people into space on Wednesday for a three-day mission. This is the first mission in which only private citizens can orbit the earth.
The Inspiration4 mission ended one summer. Billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos crossed the final boundary on the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin spacecraft respectively, a few days apart in July.
SpaceX flights are chartered by American billionaire Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and CEO of payment processing company Shift4 Payment. He is also an experienced pilot.
The exact price he paid for SpaceX has not been disclosed, but it has reached tens of millions of dollars.
Compared to the few minutes of weightlessness that Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin customers can purchase, the scope of the mission itself is far more ambitious.
SpaceX Crew Dragon will fly farther than the orbit of the International Space Station.
“The risk is not zero,” Isaacman said in a Netflix documentary about the mission.
“You fly around the earth in a rocket at 17,500 miles (28,000 kilometers) per hour. There are risks in that environment.”
SpaceX has already transported no less than 10 astronauts to the International Space Station on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-but this will be the first time that non-professional astronauts will be boarded.
It is scheduled to launch at 8:00 PM Eastern Time (5:30 AM IST) on Wednesday from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida, where the Apollo mission to the moon will take off.
“Are we going to the moon?”
In addition to Isaacman as the mission commander, three non-public figures were selected to participate in the voyage through the first publicity process at the Super Bowl in February.
Each crew member is selected to represent the pillar of the mission.
As we prepare to start a new week, as part of the Inspiration4 mission, four civilians are preparing to make history in just a few days.Help us celebrate @ Inspiration 4x Astronauts and wish them good luck in the mission! pic.twitter.com/eA33dR22dy
-St. Jude (@StJude) September 13, 2021
The youngest Hayley Arceneaux, a childhood bone cancer survivor, represents “hope.”
She will be the first person to enter space with a prosthesis.
“Are we going to the moon?” She asked, when will there be her place.
“Obviously, people have not been there for decades. I understand this,” she said with a smile in the documentary.
The 29-year-old girl was selected because she was a physician assistant at St. Jude Hospital, the beneficiary of Inspiration4 charity in Memphis.
One of the donors received a “generous” seat: 42-year-old Chris Sembroski is a former U.S. Air Force veteran who now works in the aviation industry.
The last seat represents “Prosperity” and was offered to 51-year-old earth science professor Sian Proctor, who almost missed the opportunity to become a NASA astronaut in 2009.
She will be the fourth African-American woman to enter space.
Months of training
The crew’s training lasted for several months and included experiencing high G force on the centrifuge-a huge arm that spins quickly.
They also performed a parabolic flight, experienced weightlessness for a few seconds, and completed a high-altitude, snowy trek in Mount Rainier in the northwestern United States.
They spent some time at the SpaceX base, although the flight itself will be completely autonomous.
During the three-day orbital flight, their sleep, heart rate, blood and cognitive abilities will be analyzed.
Tests will be conducted before and after the flight to study the effects of travel on their bodies.
The idea is to accumulate data for future private passenger missions.
The stated goal of the mission is to allow more people to enter space, although space travel is currently only open to a few privileged individuals.
“In human history, fewer than 600 people have ever reached space,” Isaacman said.
“We are proud that our flights will help affect everyone who follows us on the journey.”