SpaceX has successfully launched its Inspiration4 mission into space — the world’s first all-civilian human spaceflight into orbit.
The company’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft left NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday evening, carrying a crew made entirely out of civilians, including mission commander Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments and described as an “accomplished pilot and adventurer;” medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; mission specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer; and mission pilot Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur and trained pilot.
The Dragon spacecraft is the only vessel currently flying that can safely return significant amounts of cargo to Earth, while the Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket. The crew will travel at over 17,000 miles per hour and received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX prior to launch.
According to SpaceX, the mission objectives include raising $200 million USD for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and studying the human body in space in order to advance human health on Earth and in space.
The multi-day journey involves orbiting Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 575 kilometers along a customized flight path and will be monitored by SpaceX mission control. Once the mission concludes, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off Florida’s coast.
Watch the entire launch video above.
In other news, NASA has halted its $2.9 billion USD SpaceX moon mission following a lawsuit by Blue Origin.
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