SpaceX’s first all-civilian flight into Earth’s orbit

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Cassidy Anderson

The Falcon 9 rocket launching into Earth’s orbit.

Space X successfully launched and landed their first all-civilian flight into Earth’s orbit this week. This flight will go down in history as it was the farthest any citizen has traveled away from Earth, 363 miles into Earth’s orbit. 

Space X’s Inspiration4 mission involved four individuals, all of whom are not experienced astronauts. Jared Isaacman, 38, funded and commanded the all-civilian flight. Isaacman, the 38-year old CEO and founder of Shift4 Payments, paid an undisclosed amount to command this three-day mission into Earth’s orbit. 

In addition to Isaacman was three other individuals. Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a pediatric cancer survivor and ambassador for St. Jude Hospital. The rest of the crew is Dr. Sian Proctor, 51, a geologist and Chris Sembroski, 41, a Lockheed Martin employee.  

The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule first launched Wednesday evening from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Afterwards, it took ten minutes from launch for the quartet of civilians to reach the Earth’s orbit. 

The citizens onboard remained closely monitored and the ground-based flight teams operated the spacecraft.

In the span of three hours, the Crew Dragon capsule reached its set orbital altitude of 363 miles. The flight lasted three days before splashing back down into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday evening. 

In the end, the crew was smiling and waving after exiting the spacecraft and marking a moment in history. They had a successful mission despite not being professional astronauts. 

 

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