When SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission launched at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, September 15, it was such a historic moment being the first time an all-civilian human spaceflight will be launched into orbit. The four crewmates have since a few moments later, reached Earth orbit and now footage are beginning to emerge.
The beautiful images coming from the Crew Dragon spacecraft are totally different from what astronauts are used to seeing from the International Space Station (ISS). This is because the Crew Dragon is orbiting near Earth at a higher altitude of 358 miles (575km), compared with ISS, which orbits at 258 miles (415 km). It is this higher orbit that is giving Earth a marble-like appearance as can be seen from the scenery.
In the video, we can see the spacecraft’s new glass dome that was put by SpaceX engineers as an alternative to the docking mechanism since the Inspiration4 mission will not be linking up with the International space station. The glass dome is placed under the nose cone and is designed to open up once the spacecraft reaches orbit.
The team of 4, which includes; Jared Isaacman, Chris Sembroski, Dr. Sian Proctor, and Hayley Arceneaux, are expected to remain in orbit of Earth for about three days before returning home.
During the period, they will be conducting various scientific experiments geared towards advancing human health on Earth – well, as long as they remain focused and are not distracted by the amazing view they enjoy.
The groundbreaking mission was secured by serial entrepreneur Jared Isaacman when he struck a deal with SpaceX. The remaining three were then selected for various reasons, some for their pilot experience and some for their scientific knowledge. All four of them did undergo serious training for the last six months before they eventually lifted off.
Isaacman has never been shy of revealing what the main goal of the Inspiration4 mission is. He says it is to raise funds of at least $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. This he said, will be used to help kids with cancer and other terminal diseases.
On the other hand, this mission might be the beginning of a very lucrative space tourism business for SpaceX.