SpaceX's First All-Civilian Human Spaceflight to Orbit Returns Back to Earth Safely

And They're Back Home Safely

On Wednesday, September 15, SpaceX launched the world’s first all civilian crew into space.

Inspiration4 crew lands back home safely
Image: @SpaceX (Twitter)

Earlier today, @SpaceX on Tweeted about the return of Inspiration4's crew, completing the "first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit - returns to Earth". Congratulations to the team!


On Wednesday, September 15, SpaceX launched the world’s first all civilian crew into space. The crew consisted of 4 people and are supposed to be in the Earth’s orbit for 3 days.

The spacecraft, Crew Dragon, and rocket, Falcon 9, launched at 8 pm EDT from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida with the 4 civilians and for the first time, no professional astronaut has accompanied the flying members. The team has been training for 5 months to adjust themselves to the new environment which would be present once they leave the Earth’s orbit. The mission has been named ‘Inspiration4’.

First All-Tourists Crew Launched Into Space by SpaceX
Image: @SpaceX (Twitter)

The Crew

The mastermind of the whole mission is Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old billionaire, who struck a private deal with SpaceX for a 4 member ride to space. Jared Isaacman is the CEO of Shift 4, a payment processing company that he founded when he was 16. One of the core reasons for this mission is to raise $200m for St Jude, a children's research hospital, out of which $100m has already been donated by the billionaire himself. He said earlier, “This dream began 10 months ago, We set out from the start to deliver a very inspiring message, certainly what can be done up in space and the possibilities there, but also what we can accomplish here on Earth.”

Other flying crew includes Hayley Arceneaux, who is a 29-year-old physician at St Jude, and was selected by Isaacman himself to accompany him in this historic mission. She was brought to the hospital when she was a child after she was diagnosed with bone cancer. She is now healthy and helping patients with leukemia and lymphoma. She says, “It’s an incredible honor to be a part of this mission that is not only raising crucial funds for the lifesaving work of St. Jude, but also introducing new supporters to the cause and showing cancer survivors that anything is possible.”

First All-Tourists Crew Launched Into Space by SpaceX
Image: @SpaceX (Twitter)

The other 2 members are Chris Sembroski, aged 42, and Dr. Sian Proctor, aged 51, and professor of Geoscience. The Falcon 9 boosters helped the spacecraft to reach the orbit which got detached 12 mins after the launch and landed on Earth to be reused. The crew is currently 355 miles above the Earth's surface and is currently beyond the height of the International Space Station. They are the farthest humans have flown to space since NASA’s Apollo Moon mission in 1972. They are circling the globe every 90 minutes and are traveling at a speed that is 23 times the speed of sound.

The spaceship has been modified a little and the docking port of the ship is replaced as they will be not docking at the International Space Station. Instead, a rounded window has been put in place to provide a view of the outer space world. The spacecraft is set to be controlled by the on-ground operations team and the onboard members will be having a little role in the flight.

The civilians will be spending their time observing the dark void and collecting medical data on how the radiations have affected their bodies. Tests will be carried out before, during, and after the flight. The data will be studied to explore how space has affected the bodies of the crew which could be beneficial for the future visits of humans to the space.

by Anas Siddiqui