This is no longer a dream, but an event that will soon become a fact and which is already electrifying – Elon Musk sends four people into space for three days. Objective? See if civilians will be able to travel this far without much preparation. Patryk Rabiega explains who the amateur astronauts who will soon go down in history are. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
They are not professionals – they have not even completed the classic astronaut training, but this crew will soon go down in the history of space exploration. Dr. Kamil Deresz from the Planetarium of the Copernicus Science Center says that it will be the first mission in history entirely composed of civilian astronauts.
– Until now, of course, civilians also flew, but these were mixed missions. There has never been a crew consisting of one hundred percent civilians – admits Dr. Tomasz Banyś from the Planetarium EC1 in Łódź.
The first fully civilian crew will fly into space
Inspiration 4 – weather permitting – will begin on Wednesday. Then four daredevils will fly into orbit on the SpaceX ship. This historic civilian crew includes jet pilot Jared Isaacman, assistant physician Hayley Arceneaux, aviation industry worker Chris Sembroski, and geologist Sian Proctor.
– They are basically people like us, but not quite because someone had to fund them – emphasizes Dr. Kamil Deresz. That someone is Jared Isaacman – pilot, mission commander and billionaire. He chose the remaining crew members in a competition and funded them a space journey. It does not reveal how much the ticket cost, but according to the media, the sums are in the millions of dollars.
“When I was elected, it was this moment that completely changes everything around you. I dreamed about it all my life – admits a member of the mission crew Sian Proctor. – So far we have only seen it on TV, music videos and movies. And now we have a chance to experience it personally, it is an amazing, stunning moment – adds another participant of the flight, Chris Sembroski.
– These people cannot be called tourists, because they are specialists in their fields. I think that they can be called the pioneers of civil spaceflight – assesses the science journalist Jarosław Juszkiewicz.
Pioneers who, instead of strenuous training, only underwent a series of exercises. According to SpaceX, this is enough to keep them in orbit for a few days. They will not go out into space and the ship will be piloted automatically most of the time.
– SpaceX and Elon Musk say briefly: we will send people as high as they have not been since the repair of the Hubble telescope, or 575 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. It will be an orbital flight, it will last three days and there are no compromises here – says Jarosław Juszkiewicz.
Research, fundraising and inspiration
Amateur astronauts will be able to carry out weightless research on the human body. There was no time for this in the recent civil space flights of billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos – these only lasted a dozen or so minutes.
Inspiration 4 is to answer the question whether civilians, without long preparation, are able to travel far beyond the Earth. If the mission is successful, the doors to commercial flights will open even wider. – Branson and Bezos have already opened this door a bit, but they are here to kick it out – says Dr. Tomasz Banyś.
It is not only a breakthrough flight in this respect. During the mission, money will be collected for a children’s oncology hospital – its employee and former patient is a member of the crew. When she was a child, she had bone cancer. Now he is flying into space. “I never expected it to happen and maybe that’s why I enjoy it all,” says Hayley Arceneaux. Her story is a mission – an inspiration.
Patryk Rabiega, asty // now
Main photo source: TVN24