SpaceX blows up Inspiration 4 with all the first civilian crew

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Cape Canaveral, Florida — SpaceX’s first private flight exploded Wednesday night, making two contest winners, healthcare professionals and their abundant sponsors the most ambitious space travel ever. ..

This was the first time that all rockets had strayed into orbit with an amateur crew — no professional astronauts.

Two men and two women in the Dragon Capsule try to spend three days orbiting the world from an unusually high orbit 100 miles above the International Space Station before flying off the Florida coast this weekend. is.

The flight leader is Jared Isaacman, 38, who built his fortune at a payment processing company he started as a teenager.

This is SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk’s first entry into the space travel dollar competition. Isaacman is the third millionaire to be launched this summer, following a short space skimming flight by Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin in July.

Joining Isaacman on a trip called Inspiration 4, a 29-year-old childhood cancer survivor who works as an assistant to a doctor she has been treated with. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Isaacman has promised to donate $ 100 million from his pocket to the hospital and is seeking an additional $ 100 million.

Winners of the sweepstakes, Chris Sembroski, 42, a data engineer in Everett, Washington, and Sian Proctor, 51, an educator at a community college in Tempe, Arizona, will also be attending.

Arceneaux will be the youngest American in space and the first to wear a titanium prosthesis on his left foot.

The recycled Falcon rocket soared from the same Kennedy Space Center pad used in the company’s previous three astronaut flights to NASA. But this time, the Dragon Capsule aimed at an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers) just beyond the Hubble Space Telescope.

Their fully automated capsule is already in orbit: it was used for SpaceX’s second astronaut flight for NASA to the space station. The only significant change is the large dome-shaped window at the top instead of the usual space station docking mechanism.

A seasoned pilot, Isaacman convinced SpaceX to make the Dragon Capsule higher than ever. SpaceX was initially reluctant due to increased radiation exposure and other risks, but agreed after a safety review.

“Now we just want to push them higher,” Isaacman told reporters the night before the flight. “If we go to the Moon again and go to Mars and beyond, we have to go a little outside our comfort zone and take the next step in that direction.”

Isaacman, whose Shift4 Payments company is based in Allentown, PA, covers the entire flight tab, but doesn’t reveal how much he paid millions of dollars. He and others insist on those big price tags that will ultimately lower costs.

“Yes, today, to buy a trip to space yourself, you have to have a lot of cash and be willing to let go,” said NASA’s astronaut’s son, a Russian on a trip to the space station. Said Richard Garriott, president of the Explorers Club, who paid a fortune to. 10 years ago. “But like any other industry to date, this is the only way we can lower prices and increase access.

Although the capsules are automated, the four dragon riders spent six months training to fly to deal with emergencies. The training included centrifuge and fighter flight, SpaceX capsule simulator launch and re-entry exercises, and rigorous trekking to Mount Rainier in Washington in the snow.

Four hours before takeoff, the four emerged from SpaceX’s giant rocket hangers four hours before takeoff, waving and kissing family and company employees, after which they were sleek white flight suits. Was kicked out to board. When I got to the launch pad, I took a picture and hit my gloved fist before getting on the elevator. Proctor danced on the way to the hatch.

Unlike NASA’s mission, the public can’t listen, let alone see the event unfold in real time. Arseno wants to connect with a patient in St. Jude, but the conversation is not broadcast live.

SpaceX’s next private trip will see retired NASA astronauts guide three wealthy businessmen to the space station for a week-long visit early next year. Russians will launch actresses, film directors and Japanese tycoons on the space station in the coming months.

NASA, once opposed to space travel, is now a supporter. Former NASA administrator and former Space Shuttle commander Charles Bolden said the transition from government astronauts to non-professionals was “amazing.”

“One day, NASA astronauts are an exception, not a rule,” said Mason Peck of Cornell University, an engineering professor who was NASA’s chief engineer almost 10 years ago. “But they will continue to be the pioneers that the rest of us follow.”

SpaceX blows up Inspiration 4 with all the first civilian crew

Source link SpaceX blows up Inspiration 4 with all the first civilian crew

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