SpaceX sends four tourists back to Earth from orbit


Aerospace Industry Update

Elon Musk’s SpaceX created another first in space tourism on Saturday, returning four private citizens from orbit during a splash landing off the coast of Florida.

This three-day trip is the first time that a crew consisting entirely of space tourists has been put into orbit. After taking off from the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, the fully automated mission hovered in low Earth orbit and then returned smoothly at 7:06 pm local time.

Jeff Bezos’ private space company, Blue origin, Was the first person to send all civilian crews into space in July, when the Amazon founder boarded the company’s first passenger launch.

However, that flight only brought its four crew members to the edge of space and lasted about 10 minutes. In contrast, SpaceX, called Inspiration4, flies around the earth at a maximum altitude of 367 miles, which is more than five times that, and provides passengers with an extended experience of living in a microgravity environment.

On Saturday, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule splashed off the coast of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. © Via Reuters

This mission highlights the size of Musk’s SpaceX ahead of its competitors in the private aerospace industry. Its Crew Dragon spacecraft was developed to transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station-it was the first feat it achieved last year. One of Boeing’s rival projects has been delayed, and SpaceX remains the only private aerospace company to send astronauts into orbit.

Echoing Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson’s recent journey to the edge of space, the Inspiration4 journey was led by a billionaire businessman. But by including three passengers who do not have to pay for a seat, it captures the imagination of the public and enables the crew to represent a wider population than any previous space mission.

It is estimated that Jared Isaacman, the founder of Shift4Payments, paid approximately $200 million for the flight. The other person he chose for this trip was Hayley Arceneaux, who was a doctor’s assistant and a childhood cancer survivor. Chris Sembroski, data engineer; and Sian Proctor, an earth scientist and community college professor. Proctor, who was designated as a spacecraft pilot, was the first black woman to receive the title.

Passengers spend most of their time using their own equipment, but they have also conducted some small medical experiments on the effects of living in relatively high altitude areas. They spend most of their time gazing at the earth through a huge glass dome. This dome is added to the nose of the aircraft to replace the usual docking mechanism, perform backflips, and try to draw and play Ukulele, etc. Personal pastime.

The sight of ordinary citizens experiencing space travel once again awakened one of the dreams of NASA’s space shuttle program, when the agency hoped to use non-astronauts to increase a wider interest in space experiences and help exchange space experiences. The plan ended in disaster in 1986, when the first passenger, teacher Christa McAuliffe, was killed in the Challenger accident.

SpaceX Operations Director Kris Young spoke to the Inspiration4 staff after the splash at 7:06 pm local time on Saturday night, saying: “Your mission has shown the world that space is for all of us, and everyone can control the surrounding environment. The world has an extraordinary impact on them.”


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