First all civilian crew took off into space aboard rocket ship SpaceX Crew Dragon from Florida on 15th September 2021. This is the first mission into space as a commercial endeavour. Four healthy private citizens took off as amateur astronauts intending travel primarily for enjoyment. It follows that NASA, the US government space agency, has finally accepted the commercialization of space travel. So what lies in the future for generations growing up overzealous for space explorations?
Vision for a future in space
Exciting news! NASA tweeted that the SpaceX mission called Inspiration4 “embodies our vision for a future in which private companies can transport cargo and people to low-Earth orbit. More opportunities to fly=more opportunities for science.” Thus, you never know, blasting off into space is not a dream anymore, provided you can afford millions. Yes you read that right! You have to be filthy rich to afford this journey. TIME magazine has estimated the ticket price for all four passengers at $200 million. That is an expensive getaway for three days for a group of 4. And indeed the travellers of Inspiration4 are loaded.
#Inspiration4 embodies our vision for a future in which private companies can transport cargo and people to low-Earth orbit. More opportunities to fly = more opportunities for science: https://t.co/yqmC68iEIw pic.twitter.com/uuhoIyI8Vx— NASA (@NASA) September 15, 2021
So who are the crew members?
The first all civilian crew consists of four private citizens of whom one of them is a billionaire entrepreneur, Jared Isaacman, 38. He happens to be the leader of the rest of the gang who consist of Sian Proctor, 51, Hayley Acreneux, 29, and Chris Sembroski, 42. As the rocket’s first stage booster separated, 200 km above Earth, Isaacman read a statement thanking those who made the journey possible. The cruise capsule reached a final orbital altitude of 363 miles. This is the greatest distance any human has flown from Earth since NASA’s Apollo mission of 1972. This flight is meant to last for three days from ‘launch to splash down in the Atlantic‘. The first all civilian crew went through rigorous training in preparation for the space mission. All this effort to be part of the debut flight of SpaceX owner Elon Musk’s orbital tourism business.
The @inspiration4x crew is set to return to Earth on Saturday, September 18 with a targeted splashdown at 7:06 p.m. EDT in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 17, 2021
For customers willing to pay a small fortune, this is a big deal. In this trip the crew will perform several medical experiments with ‘potential applications for human health’. Good luck to them! And for those of us down here, many more years of observing exciting space launches from the USA.