SpaceX capsule with the world’s first all-private orbital crew set up for splashdown

September 18, 2021

Steve gorman

(Reuters) – The newly cast civilian astronaut quartet that makes up the SpaceX Inspiration 4 mission flew into the Atlantic Ocean off Florida on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first all civilian crew to be launched into Earth orbit. I was planning to do it.

To prepare for re-entry into the atmosphere and return to Earth, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Vehicle completed two rocket “burns” on Friday to lower its altitude and align the capsule’s orbit with its target landing site.

According to SpaceX, a private rocket company founded by Tesla’s electric vehicle maker Elon Musk, the Dragon Capsule, called Resilience, will parachute into the ocean at around 7 pm Eastern Standard Time, just before sunset.

SpaceX supplied the spacecraft, launched it from Florida, and flew from its headquarters in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

The Inspiration4 team exploded on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on one of SpaceX’s two-stage reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

Within three hours, the crew’s capsule reached a cruising orbit altitude of just over 363 miles (585 km). This is higher than the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope, and humans have been flying farthest from Earth since NASA’s Apollo program ended in 1972. ..

It also marks the debut flight of Musk’s new space travel business, as well as experiencing the exhilaration of space flight and a wealthy customer who is willing to pay a small amount to win the wings of an amateur astronaut. Leap ahead of competitors who offer to board rocket ships.

The Inspiration4 team was headed by its wealthy benefactor, Jared Isaacman, CEO of e-commerce company Shift4 Payments Inc. He assumed the role of “commander” of the mission.

He paid a huge amount of private but reportedly huge amounts for all four seats on the Crew Dragon – for about $ 200 million by Time magazine – to fellow billionaire Musk.

Isaacman is joined by three non-wealthy crew members of his choice. Earth scientist and former NASA astronaut candidate Sian Proctor (51 years old), helper assistant and survivor of childhood bone cancer Haley Arseno (29 years old), aerospace data engineer and air force veteran Chris I’m Sembrosky (42 years old).

Isaacman devised a flight to raise awareness and donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a major childhood cancer center in Memphis, Tennessee, primarily one of his favorite causes.

The Inspiration4 crew was not involved in the flight of spacecraft operated by ground flight teams and in-flight guidance systems, even though both Isaacman and Proctor were licensed pilots.

SpaceX has already launched a large number of cargo payloads and astronauts on NASA’s space station and is already ranked as the most established player in the fast-growing commercial rocket venture constellation.

Two rival operators, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and Blue Origin, have launched their own astro tourism services in recent months, along with their respective founders Richard Branson and Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.

These in-orbit flights, which lasted only a few minutes, were short hops compared to Inspiration 4’s three-day orbit.

(Written and additional report by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, edited by Daniel Wallis)

SpaceX capsule with the world’s first all-private orbital crew set up for splashdown

Source link SpaceX capsule with the world’s first all-private orbital crew set up for splashdown

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