The images, broadcast in the early hours of Friday (September 17) via the Inspiration4 Twitter account of the mission, appear to be video stills that show the four private astronauts smiling inside the capsule while enjoying stunning views from a huge new domed window that EspaceX installed on their Crew Dragon capsule in place of the usual docking port required for spacecraft linked to the space station. The images are the first glimpses of Inspiration4 crew’s life in space from their launch into orbit Wednesday evening (Sept. 15).“The Inspiration4 crew had an incredible first day in space! Inspiration4 representatives wrote on Twitter. “They have made more than 15 orbits around planet Earth since takeoff and have made full use of the Dragon Dome. ”
Live Updates: SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Fully Civilian Private Orbital Mission
Suite: SpaceX’s all-civilian private mission Inspiration4 in pictures
Unlike a traditional NASA space flight, which typically includes constant video coverage of the interior of the spacecraft, SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight is a private affair funded by its commander, a billionaire tech entrepreneur. Jared Isaacman. His crew can decide how much (or how little) to share of their experience in space as they go. The Inspiration4 mission is also working with Time Studios and Netflix on a documentary about the flight, the final episode of which will air later this month and will likely contain footage from the flight.
The public had to wait for the first glimpse of the crew on their flight for more than a day after launching on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The long silence has sparked speculation on social media that the mission may have run into problems. On Thursday, SpaceX representatives shared a Twitter update series stating that the crew were in good health and had spent the remainder of the launch day performing experiments and having a few meals. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also tried to calm speculation nine hours before the images were released.
“I just spoke with the @ inspiration4x team. Everything is fine, ”Musk tweeted Thursday afternoon.
The Inspiration4 team has since shared more details on what the crew did on the first day of their planned three-day trip.
Video: Watch SpaceX launch the Inspiration4 civilian space mission
In addition to looking outside Crew Dragon’s domed dome, the crew also spoke with cancer patients treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is the primary benefactor of several mission-related fundraising activities.
“We can confirm that the St. Jude patients were able to speak with the crew live this afternoon, asking the questions we all want to know like ‘are there cows on the moon? “” The hospital said on twitter Thursday night.
The mission doctor Hayley Arceneaux works as a medical assistant in St. Jude. She is also a former cancer patient and survivor, and now also the first person with a prosthetic body part to fly into space. At 29, she is also the youngest American space traveler to date.
Isaacman and Arceneaux are accompanied on the historic space journey by a geoscientist and a science communicator Sian Proctor, and data engineer Chris Sembroski. Proctor, who was selected for the flight in a competition hosted by Isaacman’s company, Shift4 Payments, serves as the mission pilot. Longtime space geek and aerospace engineer Sembroski, who got his ticket to the flight from a friend who won it in a raffle (in which Sembroski also participated, but did not win ) is the mission specialist.
During their first day in space, the crew members would have listened to “ultimate space jams” shared via the music streaming service Spotify, according to the Inspiration4 Twitter account. Isaacman also placed the very first sports bet since space, betting on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Super Bowl.
The crew will perform science experiments for the remainder of their space trip, but will also perform for the public to raise more funds for St. Jude. Sembroski takes with him a ukulele, which he will play and sing during the flight.
On Thursday, SpaceX shared a superb video view of the Earth from the dome, obtained approximately two hours after the Dragon Crew capsule reached its target orbit. At 363 miles (585 km) above Earth, it is the farthest dragon ever to venture (the International space station, the usual destination of the capsule, orbiting at an altitude of 250 miles (400 km)). In fact, no manned space mission since the last Hubble Space Telescope maintenance mission in 2009 has gone so far from our planet.
The capsule with the crew on board is scheduled to land on Saturday (September 18) at one of the many landing sites off the coast of Florida, in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The crew are traveling on Dragon Crew Resilience, the same spacecraft used for the Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station in November 2020.
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