Accompanied by cameras with each movement, the first four civilians to orbit the Earth alone arrived in space. The launch of the Inspiration4 mission, by the company SpaceX, was successful this Wednesday night.
For the next three days, the four passengers will orbit the planet.
*) The Falcon 9 reusable rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon capsule, both from the company of billionaire Elon Musk, took off, in good weather, around 13h (Brasilia time), as planned, from Kennedy Space Center, Florida (USA).
About 13 minutes After the launch, it was already possible to see the effect of zero gravity on a small stuffed dog carried by crew member Hayley Arceneaux, 29, medical assistant at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The plush represents the Golden Retrievers who participate in the therapeutic assistance to children being treated at the hospital.
The mission is a considerable step beyond what has been done recently in the area of space tourism. In addition to the 100% civilian crew, Inspiration4 must also make history for technical reasons. The flights made so far by other space tourism initiatives have taken very little time.
These missions, carried out in July by Virgin Galactic, company of Richard Branson, and by Blue Origin, of Jeffrey Bezos, were suborbital flights. In this type of flight, the speed does not usually exceed 4. km/h.
Inspiration4, for its instead, an orbital flight, in which the capsule needs to reach speeds greater than 21.000 km/h
The four civilians will complete a turn around the Earth, at a speed of about 21 times the speed of the sound, every 90 minutes. The flight’s orbit will be farther than that of the International Space Station and the Hubble telescope.
The amount disbursed in the mission was not disclosed. Inspiration4, of course, was present at the launch. The mission is being accompanied by a documentary team from Netflix.
So far, there are four episodes, with the preparation of civilians for the orbital flight, available on the streaming platform. Therefore, all the time, cameras surrounded the crew.
Transport to the launch site was in charge of some electric cars from Tesla, another company owned by Musk.
A few hours before take-off, on the launch platform, the civilians were able to call someone they knew, a chance taken by Chris Sembroski, one of the crew. The phone is the same used by astronauts to call family or friends before entering the ship.
On the launch platform, the civilian astronauts were clearly excited, smiling, dancing and, of course, always on the camera company.
In keeping with tradition, civilians signed their names over the SpaceX logo, in a place called the White Room, environmentally controlled to avoid contamination.
Right next to it, there was the NASA logo, with signatures of the astronauts who have already flown through the NASA and SpaceX partnership.
Inspiration4 also has a philanthropic streak. Millionaire Jared Isaacman, 38, founder of payments company Shift4 Payments, which bought the mission seats, is taking advantage of the attention it attracts to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in Memphis, Tennessee.
In addition to Jared Isaacman, there are three crew members on the flight. The idea is to have the values of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity represented in the ship.
Jared was in the position of “leadership”.
“Hope” was with Hayley Arceneaux, 29, medical assistant at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, where donations are being collected. As a child, she overcame cancer, with treatment at that same hospital.
Hayley is the youngest person to arrive in space and the first to do so with a prosthesis (as a consequence of bone tumor, a part of her left leg bones had to be replaced).
Christopher Sembroski, 38, got the “generosity”. He won a spot on the flight from a lucky draw. With a donation to St. Jude Hospital in a competition promoted by Jared, the man entered a lottery to enter the voyage. The engineer didnt win, but a friend did. The prize ended up being redirected by his friend and Christopher won the space.
Sian Proctor, 38, giddy and enterprising, got the “prosperity”. She almost became an astronaut for NASA and now fulfills her dream of going into space. Thus, she becomes the fourth black woman to achieve the feat.
Proctor got her place on the ship as well by winning a competition from Jared’s company.