The four space travelers on board the SpaceX Inspiration 4 mission have successfully returned to Earth after a historic orbital flight.
Amateur astronauts flew into the Atlantic Ocean off Florida around 7 pm local time (11:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time) on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first civil time crew reverb sent to Earth orbit. bottom.
People watching at the SpaceX Flight Control Center on the outskirts of Los Angeles applauded as the first parachute was seen unfolding, delaying the capsule’s descent to 15 mph (25 kph) before the splashdown. I did.
The mission, which took off from the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, was led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, 38, the founder of the e-commerce platform Shift4Payments.
Isaccman paid SpaceX founder Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc, for an undisclosed amount of money, estimated at about $ 200 million, to all four seats on the Crew Dragon ship.
The entrepreneur chose to fly three civilians, including Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a survivor of childhood osteosarcoma.
Arsenor, who works at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where Isaacman wanted to solicit donations, has become the youngest person in history to reach Earth orbit on an Inspiration 4 mission.
Also on board were Chris Sembroski (42), an aerospace data engineer and veteran of the Air Force, and Sian Proctor (51), a geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate.
Ms. Proctor was given the role of a flight pilot, making her the first black woman to hold the title on a spacecraft.
The Inspiration4 crew is not responsible for the flight of spacecraft that are higher than the International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope and reach cruising orbit altitudes of more than 585 km or 363 miles within 3 hours, farthest from Earth. bottom. Since Nasa’s Apollo Moon program ended in 1972.
Mr. Musk’s company supplied spacecraft, launched, controlled flight, and handled splashdown recovery operations.
“It was a tough ride for us,” said Isaacman, who rang the radio from inside the capsule shortly after the splashdown. “We are just getting started.”
The first flight of Mr. Musk’s new space travel venture follows two similar voyages by rival companies.
Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin was a private space company and the first person to take a completely private crew into space in July.
In the same month, Virgin Galactic flew.
Both Bezos and Branson joined the crew on their respective missions, but their suborbital flight lasted only a few minutes.
Additional report by Press Association