Kennedy Space Center, Fla. 15 September (WNN) – SpaceX mission Inspiration 4 – the first all-private orbital spaceflight – is planned to launch from Florida on Wednesday night, with four civilians led by philanthropist and pilot Jared Isaacman.
Liftoff of the Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for a five-hour window beginning at 8:02 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
While other private missions have gone into space for some time, Inspiration 4 will be the first to orbit Earth—flying at altitudes of more than 265 miles.
“Everyone is fully prepared … and confident they have the skills needed to successfully fly and return,” mission director Scott “Kid” Potet told WNN in an interview on Tuesday.
“It’s been many hours of training in SpaceX simulators or at Kennedy Space Center to get to know the capsule, how it works and how it splashes in the ocean.”
The flight is the brainchild of Isaacman, as his personal record-breaking adventure and a fundraiser for one of his favorite charities, the Memphis-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
As part of his vision to inspire others, Isaacman chose civilians for the crew: childhood cancer survivor and physician assistant Haley Arsinaux, 29, who is a mission medical officer; Teacher, artist and pilot Sean Proctor, 51; and engineer Chris Sambrowski, 42.
The exact length of the mission will be determined by the spacecraft’s function and weather in the splashdown areas near Florida in the Atlantic Ocean and the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The weather is expected to be 80% favorable for the launch, with the possibility of storm clouds or wind, according to US Space Force forecasts.
A top SpaceX official fully supported the crew’s preparation in a press conference on Tuesday.
“They’ve climbed Mount Rainier together. And there’s been a lot of jet fighter flights,” SpaceX’s Benji Reid, senior director of human spaceflight, said of the crew training.
“Our mission control team has done 12 hours and 30 hours of simulations to make sure they are ready to go.”
During the press conference, Arkinex said that the days in the classroom are to be filled with medical experiments.
“We’re going to collect a lot of swabs to learn about [bacteria] The microbiome and how it changes in space and we’re going to do ultrasound exams to evaluate fluid changes in microgravity, as well as doing some cognitive tests and studying the radiation effects,” Arkenaux said.
Proctor noted that she would be the first black pilot on an orbital space mission.
“I have the opportunity to not only fulfill my dream, but also inspire… the next generation of women of color and girls of color,” she said.
On Tuesday, former First Lady Michelle Obama received a call in recognition of the history-making launch for Proctor and the team.
“We had a great conversation that will stay with me for the rest of my life because she inspires me,” Proctor said.
The Dragon capsule, versions of which have carried astronauts to the International Space Station three times, has been modified to place the glass dome, or cupola, where its docking hatch would normally be.
“The Cupola will be the largest single-structure viewing port ever built in space,” Mission Director Potet said. “That view is going to be unlike any other. I mean it’s an amazing feature. SpaceX plans to provide images from space that no one has ever seen.”
Support teams work around the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft shortly after landing with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Sochi Noguchi in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday from Panama City, Fla. does. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA |