Inspiration 4: SpaceX’s First All-Civilian Space Mission:
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently announced that ‘Inspiration4’, its first all-civilian, non-governmental spaceflight, is on track for launch on September 15.
- The Crew Dragon spacecraft is set to be launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida in the US.
- It will take a group of four private citizens into space for three days.
- All four seats on the spacecraft have been purchased by US billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder of the fintech company Shift4 Payments.
- This is a part of an effort to raise millions for the Tennessee-based St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a paediatric treatment and research facility that focuses on children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukaemia and other cancers.
What is Inspiration 4?
- The mission involves circling the Earth for three days, and then splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean.
- Inspiration4 will orbit the Earth at 575km, higher than the International Space Station (408km) and the Hubble space telescope (547km).
- This will be the farthest distance travelled by a crewed mission since 2009, when astronauts last went to repair the Hubble.
- The Dragon module that the group will be using has also been modified for the mission.