On the night of September 19, the Crew Dragon (C207.2 Resilience) spacecraft of the first civilian SpaceX Inspiration4 mission of four lay astronauts returned to Earth after a three-day tour with winding circles in orbit with an apogee of 590 km; the operation took about two hours.
At 02:06 am Kiev time, the ship splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola, Florida, marking the successful completion of the historic flight. Broadcast of the final part of the mission with the return of the ship took place on the SpaceX YouTube channel.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 18, 2021
The Crew Dragon capsule with astronauts successfully parachuted down and splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. About four minutes after splashdown, the SpaceX team arrived at lifeboat, which opened the capsule and released the crew.
The first to leave the capsule was Hailey Arseno, a 29-year-old employee of the Children’s Hospital in Tennessee (she became the youngest among US citizens to have been in space and the first astronaut with a prosthetic), followed by a college professor from Arizona, Cyan Proctor (the first black female pilot of a spacecraft ), then engineer and former mechanic of the United States Air Force Christopher Sembrosky, and the last to come out was the crew commander, Jared Isaacman, who was qualified as a jet pilot and who paid for all four places on the ship (the amount was not disclosed).
Isaacman, an American billionaire and philanthropist, founder and CEO of payment processing company Shift4 Payments, organized a charitable mission to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where Hayley Arseno was cured of cancer. He personally made a charitable donation of $ 100 million and set a goal to raise at least another 200 million for the children’s hospital. By the way, in the end, $ 210 million was raised, and $ 50 million was transferred by the head of SpaceX Elon Musk. During the flight, the crew in one of the sessions talked with several patients of this hospital, showed views from the dome of the spacecraft and answered questions from children.
Count me in for $50M
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2021
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic also have big plans to conquer the space tourism market – both companies held their first commercial launches in July 2021. Billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos visited space with a difference of nine days on their own ships.
Updated: Richard Branson flew into space on his own spaceplane [Как это было]
Blue Origin takes founder Jeff Bezos and three other tourists into space on a New Shepard rocket
Inspiration4 is the first swallow. To date, SpaceX has signed several contracts with Axiom Space for a total of five Crew Dragon travel missions to the ISS through 2023. In the future, SpaceX plans to use the same ship, which has already flown into space twice, at least once more – members of the first fully private mission will go to the ISS. Ax-1scheduled for January 2022. The company also noted that they are now planning such missions for three years in advance.
“This crew was trained like any other who flew on the Dragon ship. At the end of the flight, 50% of the fuel and food supplies remained in the ship for another two days, which provides a large reserve for the mission time. Negotiations are underway on similar missions for three years in advance.
In the future, SpaceX plans to take on tourist flights to the Moon – with the help of Starship, which is currently being tested, it is planned to send a tourist delegation to the Moon (flyby without landing) in 2023, led by a Japanese billionaire.
dearMoon. The Japanese billionaire will take eight more popular tourists for free on a Starship flight around the moon – everyone can try their luck in the selection
The Crew Dragon is the first private manned ship in history, and the first American manned ship since the Space Shuttle. It was created as part of the NASA Commercial Crew Program for the development of private manned spacecraft. The ship is capable of taking on board up to seven crew members or four people and cargo – it is in this configuration that NASA plans to use it. Crew Dragon is designed to be launched into space using a Falcon 9 rocket. For maneuvering in space, Crew Dragon is equipped with 16 Draco engines and 8 SuperDraco engines. The latter are primarily intended for emergency rescue of the crew, and initially Elon Musk’s company planned to use them for landing without parachutes, but NASA refused this method.