SpaceX refines final details for first civilian space mission

SpaceX Crew Dragon

A billionaire businessman, an engineer, a medical assistant and a scientist are part of the first space flight without astronauts. The mission will last three days and will end with a landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

Not before 8:00 p.m. on September 15 (00:00 GMT on September 16) the space mission led by SpaceX called ‘Inspiration4’, the first entirely composed of civilians, will take off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, in Florida, United States.

An entrepreneur, an engineer, a medical assistant and a science educator will board SpaceX’s Dragon Resilience capsule, which will be launched into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket from the same company.

It is the first orbital trip of a crew without astronauts, which will last three days and will end with the fall of the capsule into the Atlantic Ocean with the help of a parachute. The spacecraft will reach a height of almost 575 kilometers from Earth, higher than that of the suborbital trips that millionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson made this year with their respective private space companies.

The businessman behind the space project

The 38-year-old Israeli businessman Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, is the one who financed the ‘Inspiration4’ mission, who will lead it and who also took care of finding the other three passengers.

The other crew members are Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a cancer survivor and a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who will be the youngest person to fly into orbit space. Also participating are university professor Sian Proctor and aerospace engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski.

The ‘Inspiration4’ crew has received commercial astronaut training from SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, microgravity operation, zero gravity and other tests.

The team will be supervised by SpaceX

Civilians have been prepared for emergencies, spacecraft and spacesuit entry and exit exercises, as well as partial and full mission simulations. In addition, it will be carefully monitored at every step by SpaceX mission control.

The capsule will not have a docking ring near the nose this time because it will not be docked to the International Space Station (ISS). Upon completion of the mission, Dragon will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere to land off the coast of Florida.

In 2020 SpaceX “returned the ability” to the United States to carry NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) from US soil for the first time since the last space shuttle flight in 2011.

In addition to carrying NASA personnel, the Dragon spacecraft was also designed to carry commercial astronauts to Earth orbit, the ISS, or beyond.