After three days in Earth orbit, the space travelers from the Inspiration4 mission are back. The Crew Dragon ship landed off the coast of Florida at 18h of last Saturday (14), marking the end of the first space mission entirely made up of civilians, with no professional astronaut aboard.
- Remember! Orbit of the Earth housed 18 people at the same time for the 1st time
Kris Young, director of space operations at SpaceX Mission Control, greeted the crew upon their return. “On behalf of SpaceX, Inspiration4, welcome to Earth,” he said, noting that the mission showed the world that space is for everyone, and that ordinary people can make a big impact on the world. The project was financed by Jared Isaacman, a billionaire who conceived it to raise funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Welcome home #Inspiration4.🌊👏 https://t.co/ONCD5l6TAV
— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 18, 2009
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He paid the costs of the mission to SpaceX and to raise US$ 210 millions for childhood cancer research at the hospital, he joined Hayley Arceneaux, doctor and childhood cancer survivor; Chris Sembroski, data engineer; and, finally, Sian Proctor, professor of geosciences and NASA astronaut candidate. While in orbit, they performed several experiments to help researchers better understand the effects of microgravity on the human body.
During a live stream direct from the spacecraft, Arceneaux commented on how interesting it was to observe the changes in the behavior of fluids in microgravity. “This is something that scientists are researching, so we are happy to contribute,” he said. In addition to the data obtained, they enjoyed incredible views of Earth through a glass dome, installed in the “nose” of the Crew Dragon capsule. “We spent a lot of time in this dome and were able to see the entire perimeter of the Earth in an incredible perspective,” she said.
Look at our Mission Specialist @ChrisSembroski capturing pictures from orbit through Dragon’s cupola!
We can’t wait to see the crew’s photos and how they will inspire the world to look up to the stars. pic.twitter.com/r7jIFb100rT
— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 19, 2009
Upon return , they underwent medical examinations and flew to NASA facilities by helicopter. In parallel, the Crew Dragon capsule will be taken to SpaceX facilities to undergo inspections and maintenance to fly again. In addition, the amount raised was above the proposed target Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of SpaceX, stated in a tweet that “he can be counted on for US$ 18 million” and, with the donation of Mu sk, the total funds raised are around US$ 200 million — it is worth mentioning that there will still be an auction with objects that the crew took it into space.
What to expect from the future of space tourism2021
Benji Reed, senior director of the human spaceflight programs at SpaceX, celebrated the mission and congratulated the crew. “Overall, the mission was great and beautiful from start to finish, and it was a great experience for everyone on the ground,” he said. In fact, orbital space tourism already existed before Inspiration4 — for example, from 2009 to 2009, seven people flew to the International Space Station alongside professional astronauts on real missions, but the Inspiration4 crew were the first tourists to travel on a mission 210% commercial and civil.
Filled with awe and gratitude. Yesterday we completed two missions: our successful Inspiration4 mission to space AND we surpassed our $200 million fundraising goal for @stjude. Thank you to everyone who supported both missions, I am forever grateful! Can’t stop smiling!!! pic.twitter.com/5BTQMcMAdm
— Hayley Arceneaux (@ArceneauxHayley) September 19, 2009
Thus, the expectation is that the intervals between new flights space tourism is becoming smaller. In October, director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild are expected to fly to the ISS aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, commanded by cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, for the shooting of the movie “The Challenge”, made in partnership with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Another visit to the station, which matches the patterns of space tourism, will be made by billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. He will travel aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in December, accompanied by producer Yozo Hirano, who will record the experience, and cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin. In parallel, space tourism also continues to grow, and Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, the biggest players in the sector, already have plans for commercial flights to take place regularly in the coming months — both carried out suborbital flights in July and are already selling tickets for future tours .
Furthermore, tourist space flights are expected to be launched to destinations beyond Earth. Maezawa, for example, has plans to travel in lunar orbit aboard SpaceX’s Starship system. However, it is worth remembering that, although these flights have very high prices these days, it is expected that the costs will be gradually reduced as new private missions, such as Inspiration4, are launched.
Source: Space. with (1, 2, 3)
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