The weather seems cooperative and passengers are eager to leave: SpaceX’s first space tourists were a picture of calm on Tuesday as they prepared to take off for a three-day mission orbiting Earth.
“No nervousness, excited to go! US billionaire Jared Isaacman told reporters when asked about his state of mind at a press conference.
Behind him stood the giant Falcon 9 rocket, which would carry the four members, all civilians, of the mission crew, dubbed Inspiration4.
“All the nervousness is of the right kind,” added Hayley Arceneaux, the 29-year-old medical assistant. “I’m so excited that tomorrow is here. ”
Chris Sembroski, a 42-year-old Air Force veteran, even compared the extraordinary trip to a “motorhome” ride.
It is not far: the interior of the Dragon capsule offers its occupants a cramped space of eight meters by four (27 feet by 13).
“You just wrap yourself in (sleeping bags) so you don’t float inside each other in the middle of the night!” He joked.
They all said they got along well, even though they didn’t know each other until they started training only about six months ago.
Isaacman, who chartered the mission at his own expense, held a competition to choose the three who would join him.
“Since the announcement… every day has been the happiest day of my life, and it’s only getting better,” said Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geology professor who will become the first African-American woman to assume the role of “pilot” on a space flight.
Clearly moved by the occasion, she shared that she and the crew had a phone conversation with former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“We had a very nice conversation that will stay with you for the rest of my life. ”
A take-off window begins at 8:02 p.m. Wednesday (0002 GMT Thursday).
“The weather is going well right now,” said Benji Reed, head of crewed missions for SpaceX.
© 2021 AFP
This document is subject to copyright. Other than fair use for private study or research purposes, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for information only.