“Splashdown!” SpaceX posted from its official handle on Twitter, with a clip of the landing. “Welcome back to planet Earth, Inspiration4!”…reports Asian Lite News
SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission is now officially a success. The four amateur astronauts who went on a private space trip this week landed safely back to Earth on Saturday night after orbiting the planet for three days. The SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft ‘Resilience’ splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida in the United States at approximately 7:07pm EDT (around 4:37am IST), writing a new chapter in the history of human spaceflight and perhaps bringing the civilisation closer to the much-speculated future of space tourism.
“Splashdown!” SpaceX posted from its official handle on Twitter, with a clip of the landing. “Welcome back to planet Earth, Inspiration4!”
“On behalf of SpaceX, welcome back to planet Earth,” a SpaceX mission controller was quoted as saying after the splashdown. “Your mission has shown the world that space is for all of us.”
Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old billionaire who sponsored the trip and was also its mission commander, said in reply, “Thanks so much, SpaceX. It was one heck of a ride for us… just getting started.”
SpaceX, the much-touted American aerospace company founded by businessman Elon Musk, launched the four amateur astronauts – the world’s first all-civilian crew – on the private Earth-circling in a historic spaceflight on Wednesday night from Nasa’s legendary Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral in Florida, where the Apollo 11 mission once took off for the Moon.
The four amateur astronauts travelled to an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometres) above the surface of the Earth, which is much further and deeper into space than the International Space Station (ISS). The event generated great interest across the world since it is expected that this chapter will now lead to a future of spaceflight for average people, rather than just government-sponsored astronauts.
However, it is to be noted that the aforementioned crew was still far from ‘average’, in the true sense of the word.
The trip was sponsored by Jared Isaacman, billionaire and philanthropist with pilot training. He is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of payment processor Shift4 Payments Inc, and was also the mission commander of the spaceflight, having chosen the rest of the crew himself through a competition.
Isaacman was joined in the SpaceX mission by Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old paediatric cancer survivor, now working as a physician assistant. Arceneaux also became the first person to fly to space with a prosthetic device—she lives with a rod implanted in her left leg as part of her treatment for bone cancer.
Chris Sembroski, a US air force veteran who now works as an aerospace data engineer for Lockheed Martin in Seattle, was also part of the crew. The other member was Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geoscientist in Phoenix, who was almost selected to become an astronaut for Nasa in 2009.