SpaceX rocket has launched its SpaceX Inspiration 4 into orbit carrying four people that are not professional astronauts, therefore kicking off the first-ever mission to Earth’s orbit crewed entirely by tourists. The Inspiration 4 which was pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida was said to be the first to feature a crew composed entirely of private citizens, was bankrolled by billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman, also features Sian Proctor, geology professor and the fourth African American woman in space, who serves as the mission pilot.
According to SpaceX, for the next three days, the passengers will float around the capsule as it circles the planet once every 90 minutes, traveling at more than 17,500 miles per hour, while the passengers float and take in panoramic views of Earth. To cap off the journey, their spacecraft will dive back into the atmosphere for a fiery re-entry and splashdown off the coast of Florida.
Jared Isaacman funded the first-ever non-Astronauts trip to the Orbit.
Splashdown is slated for Saturday, but that could change if weather or other issues prompt an earlier or later return. The capsule is stocked with enough food and supplies for about a week.
SpaceX hopes this will be the first of many similar tourism missions, paving the way toward a future when it’s as common to take a jaunt to space as it is to hop on an airplane.
This mission, however, has been billed as the beginning of a new era of space travel in which average people, rather than government-selected astronauts and the occasional deep-pocketed adventurer, carry the mantle of space exploration.