SpaceX’s Inspiration4 has landed and the mission was a success. At 7:06 PM on the east coast of the United States) the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience has landed in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Florida, not far from Cape Canaveral.
Inspiration4 was a complete success, carrying a civilian-only crew into orbit for the first time in history. If we think that both the launcher, a Falcon9, and the capsule, the aforementioned Crew Dragon are from the SpaceX, so they are private, as well as the funder of the mission, Jared Isaacman, we immediately understand that we are facing a historic event and turning point in the way we conceive space and space missions.
The Inspiration4 mission
The civilian crew aboard the Crew Dragon had lifted off from Cape Canaveral on the Italian night of Sept. 16. The Falcon 9 had pushed the spacecraft for the first part of the trip and then gently descended to Earth. The Crew Dragon continued its journey to an altitude of 580 km.
This was already quite impressive, as we haven’t reached that altitude since the Apollo missions. The International Space Station orbits at 400 km altitude; the Hubble Telescope, for another example, at 540 km.
At that height, the photos sent by the crew were particularly spectacular. SpaceX engineers modified Inspiration4’s Crew Dragon by mounting a panoramic dome. From here, the crew was able to take some amazing pictures of Earth!
We spent so much time in the dome from which we can see the entire perimeter of the Earth, which is such an incredible perspective. I have to say the views are out of this world.Hayley Arceneaux, medical officer and supervisor of science experiments for the Inspiration4 mission
The civilians in orbit for SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission that has already landed, during their time in space before landing on Earth, have been indulging in some of their passions, but they’ve also been doing some science and medical experiments, collecting samples and data that will help researchers learn more about the influence of microgravity on the human body, especially by comparing data from the ISS astronauts.
The landing of SpaceX’s Inspiration4
With good weather conditions over Florida, SpaceX’s control center, decided to follow the flight plan and prepare for Inspiration4’s landing, scheduled for the evening of Sept. 18.
Around 6:30 pm EST time, the Crew Dragon Resilience accessed the burners to lose altitude and enter the atmosphere. Half an hour later, at about 1:00 am on September 19, the usual communications blackout occurred, lasting 4 minutes, during which it is impossible to communicate to and from the spacecraft.
With the first images appearing in the live streaming, you can see live the Crew Dragon open its parachutes and slow down its descent to earth. Shortly thereafter, the splashdown was confirmed by the control center in the shores off Florida.
Subsequently, the Crew Dragon Resilience Capsule was recovered by SpaceX’s tugboat and brought down to earth. The crew is in excellent health and was thrilled with the experience. In addition to the records and the beautiful experience for those who lived it, a great goal of solidarity was also achieved.
The sponsor of the mission, Jared Isaacma, had also thought of this adventure as a charitable opportunity. During the period in orbit many people participated in donations, reaching the amount of $600,000, which is in addition to the $100 million donated by Isaacman. All of this money will go to St.Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
It was an amazing trip for everyone. We couldn’t ask for a more successful mission.Kip O’Keefe, Inspiration4 mission director
All the events and emotions that led to this incredible mission can be relived thanks to the Netflix series “Countdown Inspiration4 Mission to Space” available on streaming platform.