Space Coast, FL – The warm humid Florida air flared up last night with nine Inspirational roaring merlin engines. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA Kennedy Space Center LC-39A (Launch Complex 39A) with four humans on top, in Crew Dragon Resilience. The launch occurred at 2002 EDT(0002 UTC 9/16) with a scheduled five hour window.
The Inspiration4 mission marks several historic milestones for human space exploration. They are:
- First all-civilian crew to orbit Earth
- First free-flight Crew Dragon mission
- First orbital human spaceflight mission that will not dock with a space station since the final Hubble mission on STS-125 in 2009.
Inspiration4 is being monitored at every step by SpaceX mission control as the spacecraft orbits the planet every 90 minutes along a custom flight path. The crew is targeting an approximate 575 km (357.288 mi) orbit, flying farther than any human since Hubble, for an expected mission duration of approximately three days. To learn about the research and activities the crew will participate in during the mission, see the previous announcement here.
The crew’s collective goal has not only been to fly to space but also make a significant contribution in the fight to cure childhood cancer back on Earth. Started by an initial $100 million gift from Isaacman to St. Jude, Inspiration4 has a fundraising goal to raise $200 million through February 2022 to help accelerate research advancements and save more children worldwide. To date, the mission has a commitment of more than $130 million with new auction items and ways to support being shared during and after the mission. To get involved, click here.
After an approximately three-day journey, the Inspiration4 team will reenter the Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.
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