Inspiration4 launch: SpaceX to send 1st all-civilian crew into orbit

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The Inspiration 4 crew is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday evening. The first all-civilian flight into orbit will serve as a proof of concept for SpaceX and the wider private spaceflight industry, which wants to send many more people into space in the years and decades to come.

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Latest: The crew members, who have had about six months of training and preparation, are strapped to their seats inside the Dragon capsule. launch will be broadcast live via SpaceX Liftoff is expected Wednesday at 8:02 a.m. ET.

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what to watch: The four crew members will spend three days in orbit, flying high from the International Space Station and giving the cupola — a brand new, giant bubble window from SpaceX — a test drive.

  • They will fly to space in a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

Background: Billionaire Jared Isaacman is the brainchild of this mission and the flight commander.

  • He originally contacted SpaceX in 2020 to see if he could invest in the company, but he just missed out on a funding round and then joked about wanting to be a customer — such as a Day flying in space.
  • That day is coming sooner than he expected. The person he was talking to at SpaceX exposed him to the human spaceflight program, and they came up with the idea for the Inspire 4.
  • Mission pilot Sean Proctor was selected through a reality TV-style competition for entrepreneurs. Chris Sambrowski was selected via a raffle, and Hayley Arsinaux got her seat through her employer, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is also benefiting from a fundraiser associated with the mission.
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What will happen next: After their three days in orbit, the crew will splash down inside their Dragon capsule somewhere off the Florida coast.

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Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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