Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson are some of the biggest players in the space game, and while Musk’s SpaceX has had a busy year, both Bezos and Branson have made it into the record books after launching tourists into space. This time, Musk is catching up with SpaceX’s maiden all-civilian launch into space with the Inspiration4 mission.
That’s right, SpaceX’s very first all-civilian flight is due to launch very soon. According to reports, the purpose of the mission will be to raise awareness, generate funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and inspire the coming generations to involve themselves in STEM fields.
The three-day journey will commence on September 15 after the Crew Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket, which will be used for the mission, will blast off from NASA’s Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The crew will consist of billionaire and Shift4Payments CEO Jared Issacman, childhood bone cancer survivor Haley Arceneaux, Dr. Sian Proctor, founder of Space2Inspire, and Chris Sembroski, a retired officer of the US Air Force.
“Inspiration4 and @SpaceX have completed our flight readiness review and remain on track for launch!” the Inspiration4 mission team tweeted. “We are proud that our flight will help influence all those who will travel after us and look forward to seeing how this mission will help shape the beginning of a new era for space exploration,” Issacman said.
While the exact liftoff time has not been determined, the 24-hour launch window will be narrowed down to five hours three days before liftoff, taking into account the weather conditions at the launch site, the flight trajectory, and at potential emergency landing sites off the Florida coast.
In a statement, SpaceX said that the Inspiration-4 crew will be traveling across a low earth orbit on a multi-day journey, which would continually eclipse more than 90% of the earth’s current population. After being in orbit for three days, the crew will land in the Atlantic, from where they will be retrieved.
During the course of the mission, experiments will be conducted on how space affected the human body, and the crew will be collaborating with SpaceX, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine.
So mark the date on your calendar folks, since September 15 promises to be a historic day.