The four Inspiration4 non-astronaut civilian crew members who were taken into orbit by Elon Musk’s SpaceX a few days ago landed safely in the Atlantic Ocean early on Sunday morning, proving that the SpaceX mission was successful. With no professional astronaut among them, the team completed the first three-day orbital journey in space.
On September 15, four members of the Inspiration4 team, Jared Isaacman (a tech billionaire), Dr. Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux (a bone cancer survivor and health worker), and data engineer Chris Sembroski, launched into space. “Splashdown! Welcome back to planet earth @Inspiration4x!” SpaceX tweeted at 4:38 AM IST when the crew landed.
The Inspiration4 space mission set numerous records in space, including (and most notably) being the first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit. The first black female spacecraft pilot, the youngest American in space, the first person to fly to space with a prosthetic, the longest human spaceflight flight since the Hubble missions, and the first time SpaceX has operated a rocket. It was also the first free flight of a Dragon spacecraft on a human spaceflight mission and the largest contiguous window flew in space, referring to the Dragon spacecraft’s observation dome.
According to the Inspiration4 website, the most crucial revelation was that the mission had met one of Isaacman’s key objectives: raising awareness and funding for St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The Inspiration4 project has raised $154 million for the hospital at the time of publication of this report. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, also contributed $50 million in a tweet. As part of the hospital’s campaign, Isaacman funded the Inspiration4 flight. It’s also worth noting that Arceneaux, a crew member, and medical officer, was treated for bone cancer at the same hospital and now works as a physician’s assistant.
Meanwhile, space enthusiasts interested in following the Inspiration4 mission and everything that happened can watch the Netflix documentary series “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space Live Launch,” which chronicles the story of the crew and their families as well as the mission over the past few months. Viewers will be able to watch the actual flight, mission, and return to Earth at the end of the month, when the final episode is published, after four episodes leading up to the launch ceremony on September 15.