SpaceX’s Inspiration4 private mission set to launch on September 15

CAP CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX’s first fully civilian launch is officially “ready” for launch.

“# Inspiration4 and @SpaceX have completed our flight readiness review and remain on track for launch! »The Inspiration4 mission team tweeted Friday (September 3).

The mission, called Inspiration4, is scheduled to take off from NASA’s Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on September 15. A crew of four citizens will attach themselves to a Crew Dragon spacecraft and take to the skies on a three-day trip around Earth.

Related: SpaceX shows off huge dome on Dragon for private space flight Inspiration4

Billionaire Jared Issacman, founder of Shift4 Payments, bought the flight as part of an effort to raise millions for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He is joined by Haley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski.

Arceneaux, a childhood bone cancer survivor and St. Jude’s physician assistant, was chosen to represent the charity, while Proctor and Sembroski were selected in a global competition for air travel .

The group has been busy in recent months training for their flight. On Friday (September 3), these efforts paid off as the SpaceX and Inspiration4 teams officially gave the green light to the flight.

Related: Inspiration4’s private crew launched with SpaceX experience weightlessness for the first time

In this artist’s visualization, you can see SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft modified with a dome viewing window for the upcoming Inspiration4 mission. (Image credit: SpaceX)

The Dragon crew capsule and Falcon 9 rocket have already flown and are cleared for flight after teams have thoroughly examined each of the craft’s systems as well as data from the ramp ground support system. launch.

Liftoff is scheduled for Sept. 15, with a backup launch date of Sept. 16, Inspiration4 officials said in an emailed statement to Space.com.

The exact take-off time will be determined a few days before launch. Three days before take-off, the team will reduce the launch window from 24 hours to five hours, taking into account the weather conditions at the launch site, the flight path and potential emergency landing sites offshore. off the coast of Florida.

Once in orbit, the crew will circle the Earth for three days before descending into the Atlantic Ocean. Since the Dragon will remain in free orbit and will not visit the International Space Station, as previous Crew Dragon missions have done, its docking port has been removed and replaced with a domed window.

Inspiration4 astronaut Hayley Arceneaux tries out SpaceX’s new dome window for her Crew Dragon spacecraft before it’s installed on the vehicle. (Image credit: Inspiration4)

The window, inspired by the dome of the International Space Station, will give the crew an incredible view of Earth, according to the Inspiration4 team.

Issacman, Arceneaux, Proctor and Sembrowski are expected to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on September 9, ahead of their scheduled launch.

Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.


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