Can four people who have never been to space orbit the Earth for three days after just a few months of training?
This is the challenge SpaceX set when it launched its first tourism business. Mission On Wednesday, a dedicated civilian crew will orbit our planet for the first time.
The Inspiration 4 5-hour launch window opens at 8:02 pm (Thursday 0002 Greenwich Mean Time).
The Falcon 9 rocket, with a dragon capsule on top, exploded from the legendary launch complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida, from which the Apollo 11 mission took off toward the Moon.
The spacecraft’s orbit reaches an altitude of 575 kilometers (357 miles) deeper in space than the International Space Station (ISS).
At the end of their journey, four Americans flew off the Florida coast, their descent was slowed by a giant parachute.
The mission was paid by Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old high school dropout and founder of Shift4Payments.
SpaceX hasn’t disclosed how much it will cost him, but the price tag can reach tens of millions of dollars.
“We understand how lucky we are,” Isaacman said at a press conference on Tuesday.
For the trip, Isaacman brings the other three selected through the competition.
Haley Arsenor, a survivor of childhood cancer, is a 29-year-old doctor’s assistant. She is the youngest American to get going and will be the first to wear a prosthesis on part of her femur.
Chris Sembroski, 42, is a former US Air Force employee and currently works in the aviation industry.
Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old professor of geology, was almost named a NASA astronaut in 2009.
She will be the fourth African-American woman to go to space.
The stated goal is to represent a turning point in the democratization of the universe by proving that those who have been carefully selected and untrained as astronauts for many years have access to the universe.
For SpaceX, this is the first step towards multi-planetary humanity, the ultimate vision of Elon Musk.
On board, their biological data (including heart rate and sleep) and cognitive abilities are analyzed.
They are also tested before and after the trip to measure their effects on the body. Their training lasted only about 6 months.
The flight must remain fully automated, but the crew is trained by SpaceX for emergency control.
They also physically went through their pace.
Together they trekked through the snow to the top of Mount Rainier, 14,411 feet (3000 meters) high, northwest of the country.
They also completed high G-force training with a centrifuge (long rotating arm) and jet flight.
In addition to serving as a vehicle for SpaceX’s ambitions, the mission aims to raise $ 200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis’ main facility.
Arseno was treated there as a child and is now working there.
The crew will bring back various objects that will be auctioned for this purpose: ukuleles, 30 kilograms of hops aimed at brewing space beer, and some irreplaceable tokens.
NS space The adventure concludes the summer marked by the battle between billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to reach the final frontier.
The founders of Virgin Galactic first achieved their feat on July 11, followed by the Blue Origin boss nine days later.
However, these flights provided only a few minutes of weightlessness. SpaceX’s mission is much more ambitious.
This is SpaceX’s fourth crew mission, currently sending 10 astronauts to the ISS.
The company is already working on future tourism missions, including a mission to the ISS in January 2022.
© 2021 AFP
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First, SpaceX sends all civilian crew members into Earth orbit
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