As the race to space heats up entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX announced on September 3, 2021, that ‘Inspiration4’, its first all-civilian, non-governmental spaceflight, is slated for launch on September 15.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft is on track to be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in the US. It will take a group of four private citizens into space for three days. This comes after the Amazon founder was accompanied by the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.
The Inspiration4 crew will take part in research during their mission to advance the understanding of spaceflight’s impact on human health. The private astronauts of will be helping to expand our understanding of how space affects the human body on their mission around Earth.
What is Inspiration4?
All four seats on the spacecraft have been purchased by US billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder of the fintech company Shift4 Payments.
Joining Issacman on the journey to space is Haley Arceneaux, a childhood bone cancer survivor and physician’s assistant at the hospital. The two others who will be on the spacecraft — Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski — will be part of the mission after winning a global contest.
The three-day journey to an altitude above the Hubble Space Telescope’s orbit is a part of an effort to raise millions for the Tennessee-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a pediatric treatment and research facility that focuses on children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers.
Watch it on Netflix
Netflix announced a docuseries about the spaceflight ‘Countdown Inspiration4 Mission to Space’. The first two episodes of the series premiered on September 6, 2021.
On Sept 6, you’ll meet the four civilians going into space.
On Sept 13, you’ll see them prepare.
On Sept 15, you’ll watch the live launch
On Sept 30, you’ll be in space alongside them
Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space takes off next week pic.twitter.com/prr0RDZSXc
— Netflix (@netflix) September 2, 2021
Netflix also shared an update about the docuseries on their social media and revealed that the netizens can watch the live launch on September 15.
Space facing room with a view
The Dragon module that the group will be using has also been modified for the mission. Usually, the SpaceX module is used for travelling to the ISS, where it has to dock or join the floating laboratory. Since Inspiration4 is not going to the ISS, the docking port has been removed and has been replaced with a dome window instead.
This dome window will offer breath-taking views of the Earth for the four travelers. The window has been inspired by the Cupola, a module on the ISS used to make observations about Earth.
A journey to find health impact of space odyssey
This is a First-of-its-kind health research initiative to increase humanity’s knowledge on the impact of spaceflight on the human body.
The four civilians who have been selected as the crew members were selected to support four different aims and exhibit four attributes – leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity.
“The crew of Inspiration4 is eager to use our mission to help make a better future for those who will launch in the years and decades to come,” said Jared Isaacman, commander of the Inspiration4 mission.
“In all of human history, fewer than 600 humans have reached space. 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,” he added.