There will be four people inside the capsule at the top of the rocket, just like the last two SpaceX missions that took NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. But this time, none of the four passengers work for NASA or another space agency. Ce mission, called Inspiration4 , is an brainchild of Jared Isaacman, the billionaire founder of Shift4, a company that provides payment process services. Three other people - whom Mr. Isaacman did not know before recruiting them for the launch - will join him on a trip that will circle the Earth for three days before landing off the coast of Florida.
When is the launch and how can I watch it?
A five-hour launch window opens Wednesday at 8:02 pm Eastern Time. The exact time will depend on the weather. Current forecasts give an 80 percent chance of favorable conditions. In an update posted to Twitter around 1:20 p.m., SpaceX said the rocket systems were ready for flight.
If the flight cannot take off during this five hour period, the crew could try again Thursday at 8:05 pm , Eastern Time.
The launch will be streamed live by SpaceX on its YouTube channel , and also by Netflix on its YouTube channel .
Who is Jared Isaacman?
He grew up in New Jersey and dropped out of high schooldaires at the age of 16 to work for a payment processing company. He earned a General Educational Development Certificate, or GED
After six months, Mr. Isaacman found a new way to handle payment processing, and in 1999, he founded his own business in his parents' basement. This evolved into Shift4 Payments, which went public in June 2020.
M. Isaacman started flying as a hobby, learning to fly advanced airplanes, including military fighter jets. Last year, Isaacman was discussing an investment in SpaceX when he tried to convince company officials of his enthusiasm by telling them he wanted to buy a trip to orbit someday. . This led to conversations that led Mr. Isaacman to undertake the Inspiration4 mission. He will be the mission commander.
Who are the other crew members?
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, is a medical assistant at St. Jude Children 's Research Hospital in Memphis. Almost two decades ago, Ms. Arceneaux, who grew up in the small town of St. Francisville, Louisiana, was a patient in St. Jude when diagnosed with bone cancer in her left leg, just above the knee. Ms. Arceneaux underwent chemotherapy and surgery to install bones in her leg. prosthetic.
Ms. Arceneaux could become the youngest American to ever travel to orbit. She will also be the first person with a prosthetic body part to go into orbit. space. She will be the mission health officer.
Sian Proctor, 51, is a teacher ofTempe Community College, Arizona.
Dr. Proctor, who has a doctorate in science education, was among 47 finalists selected by NASA for an astronaut course in 2009. The space agency chose nine new astronauts that year, but Dr. 'was not one of them.
She will be the pilot of the Inspiration4 mission, and the first black woman to pilot a spaceship.
Christopher Sembroski, 42, from Everett, Washington, works in data engineering for Lockheed Martin. During his college studies, Mr. Sembroski had worked as a counselor at Space Camp. He will be the mission specialist for Inspiration4.
How do they get into orbit?
The four members of eqInspiration4 uipage will be inside a Crew Dragon capsule built by SpaceX. The capsule will be launched on one of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets.
This is exactly the same system that is used to take the astronauts to the NASA to the International Space Station. Indeed, the capsule they travel in, named Resilience, was used for a NASA mission launched in November of last year. It returned to Earth in May and was refurbished for the Inspiration4 mission.
Where are they going?
Unlike the missions that SpaceX flies for NASA, Inspiration4 does not go to the space station. Instead, the Resilience capsule will orbit Earth for three days at an altitude of approximately 360 miles. It's about 80 miles higher than the International Space Station.
This flight path makes Inspiration4 more like some of NASA's Mercury and Gemini missions during the 1960s that preceded the Apollo moon missions. It is also reminiscent of shuttle flights before the construction of the space station.
What is the flight schedule for Wednesday?
The launch could take place as early as 8:02 p.m. But the action will start hours before that.
If the schedule is similar to previous NASA astronaut flights from SpaceX, so about three and a half hours before launch, the crew will begin donning their custom SpaceX space suits. Once technicians confirm that the suits are properly fitted, the four astronauts will say goodbye to their families and be transported to the launch pad.
About two and a half hours before the flight - around 5:30 p.m. EST - the crew will board the Crew Dragon capsule. SpaceX technicians will then perform a number of procedures before sealing them inside the spacecraft, a process that could take about an hour.
Approximately 45 minutes before the scheduled launch time, SpaceX will begin loading the thruster into the rocket and begin performing final checks of the spacecraft's systems and weather to decide if the mission is safe to launch.
Once the rocket is launched, the capsule will begin a series of stages to orbit, including the separation of the first and second stages of the rocket. Within an hour, the spacecraft will fire its thrusters, placing it on the path it will follow until the astronauts return onEarth Saturday.
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