The SpaceX project – Inspiration 4 is to start on the night of Wednesday into Thursday, Polish time. This is the first mission aimed at launching only amateur astronauts into orbit.
The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon capsule from the NASA spaceport in Florida is scheduled for 2 a.m. Polish time (20:00 local time). The spacecraft belonging to the SpaceX company is to be taken to the so-called Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and return to Earth after three days.
SpaceX Inspiration 4 mission
There will be four amateur astronauts aboard the Dragon. The head of the mission is billionaire businessman and stunt pilot Jared Isaacman, who has also bought seats on board for the other three crew members: doctor Hayley Arceneaux, geologist Sian Proctor, who is to act as a pilot, and computer scientist Chris Sembroski.
It will be the first orbital mission without professional NASA astronauts or other space agencies. However, all crew members underwent six months of training to prepare them for the travel requirements. The mission goal – or at least one of them – is charitable: raise $ 200 million from donors for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where the three flight participants work. The four crew members are to spend three days in orbit.
It is also another step towards the development of space tourism and the debut of Elon Musk’s SpaceX in this respect. While paying customers have already set off into orbit several times with the Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station, these were rare cases, and flights were carried out in the company of professional astronauts or cosmonauts.
Commercial space flights
In turn, the first commercial flights of SpaceX’s rivals – Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic – only reached the edge of space, spending only a few minutes weightless.
After Inspiration 4, four more private civilian flights are already planned, the first of which is planned for January 2022. SpaceX’s ambitions go even further – Musk wants to send a private flight into orbit around the Moon in the coming years. For this, it will be necessary to complete work on the Starship ship, which is ultimately also to be used in manned flights to Mars.
In addition to SpaceX, two other private flights to the International Space Station (ISS) are planned this year – a Russian crew to shoot a feature film will fly there in October, and Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will depart aboard Soyuz in December.
Main photo source: enex