Last night, the Inspiration4 mission kicked off, launching four civilians into outer space. This historic mission marks the first private, commercial spaceflight with a crew composed entirely of amateurs. Furthermore, this flight, operated by SpaceX, will surpass those by Blue Origins and Virgin Galactic in both altitude and duration. The Dragon capsule containing the crew, who were selected by commander Jared Isaacman, a billionaire businessman, will be soaring about 80 miles above the International Space Station. The capsule will orbit our planet for three days before it returns back into the atmosphere and splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean.
Here’s what the mission has looked like so far.
Hayley Arceneaux (pointing) is the crew’s youngest member at 29 years old. She’s a survivor of childhood bone cancer and was treated at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, for which this mission also raises funds. Next to her is Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and former astronaut candidate.The crew underwent intensive training to prepare for this mission. One particularly fun day was when they experienced zero-gravity environments for the first time.Chris Sembroski, a data engineer for Lockheed-Martin, visits the Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule that will carry him and the crew.Another part of Space Camp was centrifuge chamber training to acclimate the crew to the various stages of takeoff and landing, along with a hike up Mount Rainier as an endurance and bonding exercise, water survival training in case they must live on limited resources, and fighter jet training to experience high G-forces.Sian Proctor, as a former astronaut candidate, is the crew member closest to real astronaut status.The crew all suited-up ahead of takeoff, each member holding up four fingers in honor of the mission name.Jared Isaacman is no stranger to fighter jets as he’s licensed to fly commercial and military aircraft himself, though the rest of the crew had to train as pilots ahead of launch. The billionaire founder and CEO of payment software Shift4 Payments funded this mission.There’s some time for fun and silly poses even in Space Camp training, especially for Hayley Arceneaux.There they go!