Watch: SpaceX Big launch, as normal people go to Space
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TONIGHT, the next batch of space tourists are set to lift off, aboard a SpaceX rocket. Organised and funded by entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, the Inspiration4 mission touts itself as “the first all-civilian mission to orbit” and represents a new type of space tourism.
SpaceX is targeting a five-hour launch window tonight, September 15, opening at 8.02pm EDT (Thursday, September 16 at 12.02am UTC), for launch of the Inspiration4 mission – the world’s first all-civilian human space flight to orbit – aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, from historic Launch Complex 39A, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, in Florida. About three days after lift off, Dragon and the Inspiration4 crew will return to Earth and splash down at one of several possible landing sites, off the Florida coast.
SpaceX’s web cast for launch of the Inspiration4 mission will go live, about four hours before lift off.
Inspiration4 is commanded by Jared Isaacman, founder and chief executive of Shift4 Payments, and an accomplished pilot and adventurer. Joining him are medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and paediatric cancer survivor; Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer; and Mission Pilot Dr Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur, and trained pilot.
The biggest difference between Inspiration4 and the flights performed earlier this year, is the destination.
Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic took – and in the future, will take – their passengers on suborbital launches. Their vehicles only go high enough to reach the beginning of space, before returning to the ground a few minutes later. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and crew Dragon vehicle, however, are powerful enough to take the Inspiration4 crew all the way into orbit, where they will circle the Earth for three days.
As for how to watch the event, there are several ways. We’ve embedded the YouTube stream of the event below, so you can always come back here to watch it: