A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying four people returned to Earth on Saturday evening after a three-day extraterrestrial excursion. This was the first flight into Earth’s orbit made entirely by tourists or other non-astronauts.
The Inspiration4 mission by SpaceX has now been certified as a success
This week, four amateur astronauts went on a three-day space journey that ended safely with them returning to Earth on Saturday night.
At approximately 7:07 pm EDT (around 4:37 am IST), SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft ‘Resilience’ splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida in the United States, marking a turning point in the history of human spaceflight and possibly bringing civilization closer to the much-speculated future of space tourism.
Over the company’s webcast, billionaire and “Inspiration4” mission commander Jared Isaacman could be heard stating, “Thanks so much SpaceX, it was a heck of a journey for us.”
Re-entering Earth’s atmosphere; landing of the spaceship
Before beginning the nerve-wracking process of re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the crew was seen viewing movies and occasionally heard replying to SpaceX’s mission control from inside their completely autonomous spacecraft.
After reaching speeds of almost 17,000 miles per hour, the spaceship exploited Earth’s dense layer of air to slow down, hitting temperatures of up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit in the process.
As it dropped back into the ocean, the Crew Dragon capsule, which is designed to keep cabin temperatures below 85 degrees, used its heat shield to shelter the crew from the intense heat and buildup of plasma.
The astronauts were seen smiling and waving to the Livestream cameras after exiting the spaceship and before being carried back to Florida by helicopter.
However, the flight did not appear to be completely faultless from a technical aspect. During a post-flight briefing, SpaceX’s director of crew mission management, Benji Reed, said, “You know, we had a couple of issues that we worked on, we did work something on the Waste Management System.” “But that was fine,” he remarked, “and the staff was happy and healthy.”
The problem, according to Inspiration4 mission director Todd Ericson, was with the waste management system’s fan. As a result, the SpaceX team created “a backup plan.”
Ericson added, “My hat’s off to them.”
Reed also said that a temperature sensor on one of the Draco engines used to propel the capsule into space had malfunctioned, but the company responded by turning off the “double redundant” sensor.
“And because Draco was redundant, it was never a risk,” Reed explained.
“Splashdown!”: the four received a heartfelt welcome to earth
After the splashdown, a SpaceX mission controller was quoted as saying, “On behalf of SpaceX, welcome return to planet Earth.” “Your expedition has demonstrated to the rest of the world that space belongs to all of us.”
“Splashdown!” SpaceX shared a video of the landing on Twitter from its official account. “Welcome back to planet Earth, Inspiration4!” exclaims the narrator.
“Thanks so much, SpaceX,” said Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old businessman who financed the project and served as its mission commander. It’s been a wild ride for us… and we’re only getting started.”
The world’s first all-civilian crew set on a trip to the moon; launched by Elon Musk
On Wednesday night, Elon Musk‘s SpaceX launched four amateur astronauts — the world’s first all-civilian crew – on a historic trip from Nasa’s renowned Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the Apollo 11 mission had launched for the Moon.
The amateur astronauts flew to a height of 357 miles (575 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, which is far higher and farther into space than the International Space Station (ISS).
Because this will open up spaceflight to the general public rather than just government-sponsored astronauts, the event drew a lot of attention worldwide.
About the crew
It should be recognized that the aforementioned team was anything but typical.
Isaacman, the rich philanthropist with flying training, paid for the flight. He is the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments Inc., a payment processing company, and he was also the mission commander of the spacecraft, selecting the rest of the crew himself through a competition.
Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old pediatric cancer survivor, and physician assistant accompanied Isaacman on the SpaceX flight. During her treatment for bone cancer, Arceneaux received a rod to implant in her left leg, making her the first person to fly into space with a prosthetic device.
Chris Sembroski, a former member of the US Air Force and current aerospace data engineer with Lockheed Martin in Seattle, was also on board. Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geoscientist from Phoenix, was the other member. In 2009, she was almost selected to be an astronaut for Nasa.