For the first time, SpaceX will launch an all-civilian crew into Earth orbit.
After only a few months of training, can four people who have never gone to space spend three days spinning about Earth?
That is the task that SpaceX has set for itself when it launches its inaugural tourist mission on Wednesday, the first time a crew of solely private persons will orbit the Earth.
From 8:02 p.m., a five-hour launch window for “Inspiration4” opens (0002 GMT Thursday).
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida’s famed launch complex 39A, where the Apollo 11 mission blasted out for the Moon.
The spaceship’s route will carry it 575 kilometers (357 miles) into space, further than the International Space Station (ISS).
The four Americans will splash down off the coast of Florida at the end of their adventure, their descent slowed by massive parachutes.
Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old high school dropout and founder of Shift4 Payments, funded the project.
SpaceX hasn’t said how much it cost him, but it’s in the tens of millions of dollars.
“We recognize our good fortune,” Isaacman said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Isaacman is bringing three other people on the trip who were chosen through a competition.
Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant, is a pediatric cancer survivor. She will be the first person with a prosthetic on a portion of her femur to go into orbit and the youngest American to do it.
Chris Sembroski, 42, is a former member of the United States Air Force who now works in aviation.
In 2009, Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geology professor, came close to becoming a NASA astronaut.
She’ll be the fourth African-American woman to travel to space.
The declared purpose is to mark a watershed moment in the democratization of space by demonstrating that the cosmos is available to those who have not been hand-picked and trained as astronauts for many years.
For SpaceX, this is nothing less than a first step towards a multi-planetary humanity – Elon Musk’s ultimate vision.
Their bodily data (such as heart rate and sleep) as well as their cognitive abilities will be examined on board.
They’ll also have tests done on them before and after the trip to see how it affects their bodies. Their training was merely six months long.
Although the trip should be totally automated, SpaceX has educated the crew to take control in the event of an emergency.
They were also positioned. Brief News from Washington Newsday.