Four American space tourists began an incredible journey in zero gravity in a SpaceX spacecraft on Wednesday , where they must spend three days in orbit around the Earth without a professional astronaut on board, a historical fact given that nothing similar has ever been attempted before.
The Inspiration4 mission was announced on February 1, 2021, and took place aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX’s second commercial mission.
During the tour, the crew’s sleep, heart rate, blood, and cognitive functions will be analyzed in order to study how rookies react in space.
Crew Dragon: Space X’s ship
The Dragon capsule carrying the crew reached space in a Falcon 9 rocket, at a height of 70 meters.
The spacecraft has already sent 10 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on three different missions.
Dragon, 8 meters high and 4 meters wide, was modified for this flight in which it will orbit the Earth for three days. A large glass dome was installed to offer the four passengers a 360-degree view of space.
The flight plan
The launch occurred as scheduled at 8:02 p.m. local time (00:02 GMT Thursday) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The rocket took off at the scheduled time, 20H02 local (00H02 GMT), from the mythical launch area 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A few minutes later, the first and then second floors of the rocket separated, leaving the Dragon capsule and its passengers alone in the cosmos. Dragon will orbit the Earth for three days at a height higher than that of the ISS.
Then, you will return to the planet to land off the coast of Florida by means of a gigantic parachute.
The Inspiration4 Crew
The organization and financing of the mission was in charge of the American billionaire Jared Isaacman , who travels with three people, his guests, through a unique selection process.
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, is a nurse who survived childhood cancer.
Chris Sembroski, 42, is a veteran of the United States Air Force who now works for the aviation industry.
And geology professor Sian Proctor was a finalist in NASA’s astronaut training process more than a decade ago.
The crew trained for six months, much less than the years of preparation required for professional astronauts.
They learned to withstand the g (acceleration) force in a centrifuge apparatus and experienced the lack of gravity.
Although the flight should be fully automated, the team was trained by SpaceX to take control of the spacecraft in an emergency.