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SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission returns to earth



This September, SpaceX launched its first all-civilian crew into Earth’s orbit, and gave a possible insight into the future of space travel, which until now is only within the reach of the uber-rich.

The spaceship’s route took it 357 miles (575 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, putting it further into space than the International Space Station. Upon completion, it safely landed in the waters off Florida’s coast, thus completing a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever sent into Earth orbit.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson tweeted, “The #Inspiration4 launch reminds us of what can be accomplished when we cooperate with private business.”

About the mission

Jared Isaacman, a 29-year-old physician assistant, is the youngest American in space and the first to wear a prosthesis on a portion of her femur. Chris Sembroski, 42, is a veteran of the United States Air Force who now works as an aerospace data engineer. Hayley Arceneaux, 29, is a pediatric cancer survivor and a medical assistant. Isaacman’s three crewmates were chosen in a competition, and their tales have been chronicled in a Netflix documentary. 

Sian Proctor, 51, will be the first African-American woman in space. She and colleague astronaut Tim Peake are on a six-month fundraising expedition for St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Arceneaux was a kid patient there and now works there. The goal of the Mission is to raise $200 million for children’s cancer research.

The team brought many items with them, including a ukulele, 66 pounds (30 kilograms) of hops for brewing space beer, and multiple digital assets known as non-fungible tokens, which will be auctioned off for charity. Biological data such as heart rate and sleep, as well as cognitive abilities, was collected and evaluated throughout the voyage to investigate the health effects of space travel.

The mission’s goal was to give those who have not been hand-picked and trained to be astronauts access to space. It is part of the company’s aim to demonstrate that the universe is understandable to non-experts.

This was SpaceX’s fourth crewed trip, with the company having already carried ten men to the International Space Station for the US space agency NASA.

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