SpaceX, run by tech billionaire Elon Musk-run, is all set to launch into orbit its first all-civilian mission ‘Inspiration4’ on Thursday morning.
SpaceX’s charity-driven mission, which will be commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and three others, aims to launch at 8:02 p.m. EDT Wednesday (5.30 a.m. India time Thursday), the company stated on its website.
SpaceX is targeting a five-hour launch window aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The crew will orbit the planet aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule every 90 minutes along a customised flight path. Upon conclusion of the three-day journey, Dragon and the Inspiration4 crew will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.
Inspiration4 is commanded by 37-year-old Isaacman, who is founder and CEO of integrated payment processing company Shift4 Payments and a trained pilot.
He is joined by Medical Officer Haley 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 mission is part of billionaire Issacman’s ambitious fundraising goal to give hope to all kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
During their multi-day journey in orbit, the Inspiration4 crew will conduct scientific research designed to advance human health on Earth and during future long-duration space flights, the company said.
Since the Dragon will not visit the International Space Station, unlike previous Crew Dragon missions, its docking port was removed and replaced with a dome window.
The window, inspired by the cupola on the International Space Station, will provide the crew with incredible views of Earth, according to the Inspiration4 team.
The Inspiration4 mission marks SpaceX’s latest private astronaut mission.
The company’s Ax-1 mission, also planned for the end of 2021, hosts a crew of four private astronauts paying $55 million each for an eight-day trip to the ISS.
In 2018, Musk also announced Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will hitch a ride around the moon on SpaceX’s new rocket system Starship, which is under development.