SpaceX Just Marked Another Huge Milestone in The History of Crewed Spaceflight

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ScienceAlert 19 September, 2021 - 07:46pm 25 views

Where did the spacex capsule splashdown?

They launched at 8:02 p.m. Sept. 15 from Kennedy Space Center. The group's space trip ended with a splashdown at about 7:07 p.m. EST in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida. "Thanks so much, SpaceX," Isaacman said. USA TODAYSpaceX landing: Inspiration4 crew of 'non-astronauts' splashes down in Atlantic Ocean off Florida

What time does spacex return to Earth?

SpaceX's private Inspiration4 astronauts will return to Earth tonight and you can watch it live. Splashdown is set for 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT). Space.comSpaceX's private Inspiration4 astronauts will return to Earth tonight and you can watch it live

Space tourists splash down in Atlantic Ocean after three days in orbit

The Register 20 September, 2021 - 11:20am

Best three-day "weekend" ever? That may be the question SpaceX's four civilian astronauts are putting to themselves after successfully returning to Earth on Saturday. The crew of the historic Inspiration4 mission splashed down off the Florida coast at about 7 p.m. local time, after having orbited the globe almost 50 times since Thursday. The astronauts safely exited the spacecraft about an hour after splashdown, following a recovery at sea.

"That was a heck of a ride for us," mission commander Jared Isaacman tweeted after splashdown. "Congratulations @Inspiration4x!!!" SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, also via Twitter.

Crew of @Inspiration4x - first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit - returns to Earth pic.twitter.com/pnjkDjnkAw

It was the first time a crew composed of private citizens had been launched into orbit, without any professional astronauts aboard. The mission took the crew members much farther out than either Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson or Blue Origin's (and Amazon's) Jeff Bezos traveled on their recent jaunts above the planet. And the Inspiration4 trip helps solidify the notion of sending everyday people into space, for tourism, futuristic international travel and perhaps even colonization of the cosmos.

The mission was bankrolled by Isaacman, a former pilot and the billionaire founder of a payment processing company, who offered up the other three seats to members of the general public: physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, data engineer Christopher Sembroski and community college professor Sian Proctor (who's now also the first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft). 

That's not the only historic first. Arceneaux becomes the youngest American in space at 29 and the first to fly in space with a prosthetic. And the mission will likely remain the farthest human spaceflight since the Space Shuttle missions of the early 2000s. Reaching an altitude of around 360 miles, it exceeds the missions designed to service NASA's Hubble Telescope, which saw astronauts fly to around 370 miles above the Earth. A future SpaceX mission, aboard the still-in-development Starship, plans to take humans farther than ever before -- by flying them around the moon in 2023

The crew spent its time orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes (about 100 miles farther out than the International Space Station); checking out the view of our planet from a specially installed glass cupola on SpaceX's Dragon capsule; conducting various science experiments; and occasionally taking breaks to play with a plushie pup (also known as the mission's "zero gravity indicator"). Physiological information about the crew was collected to assess changes in behavior and cognition, including data on heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and how well the team members slept.

The mission was also billed as a fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, where Arceneaux works and where she was a cancer patient as a child.

We can't tell who's having more fun -- our St. Jude patients who talked to the @inspiration4x crew live from space or the crew members themselves who tried their best to catch floating @mmschocolate! Either way, we might have discovered the crew's favorite space snack! pic.twitter.com/ohJN0aXMSh

On Saturday evening, Musk announced he would be donating $50 million to the donation drive, helping it surpass the $200 million mark set by the crew. Isaacman is contributing $100 million. 

The successful mission is another feather in the cap of Musk and his company SpaceX, which has already shuttled astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. That initiative sees the space agency working with private companies to achieve NASA's stated goal of "safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit."

In June, SpaceX signed a deal to send space tourists to the ISS starting next year (at a reported $55 million price tag per seat). And in April, NASA announced that it had selected SpaceX to provide the human landing system for the space agency's Artemis program. Artemis calls for putting the first woman and next man on the moon sometime soon -- and eventually setting up sustainable exploration there. Knowledge gained from Artemis will be put to use in getting ready to send astronauts to Mars.

Read more: Why the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission matters to everyone

SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 crew detail ‘awe-inspiring’ mission

Yahoo News 20 September, 2021 - 11:20am

Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski made history as the first crew to orbit the Earth without a professional astronaut on board.

They spoke to NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt about rocketing into orbit aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which reached an altitude of 363 miles and gave them a breathtaking view of Earth through a giant window at the top of the capsule.

"That last view of the Earth in the cupola made me emotional, because it was just so awe-inspiring, and I knew I’d be thinking about that for the rest of my life," Arceneaux said.

"Our name is Inspiration," Proctor said. "To be able to capture that view and bring it back to Earth is special."

Isaacman, 38, a billionaire entrepreneur and accomplished pilot, served as the commander of the mission, with Proctor, 51, making history as the first Black woman to serve as a spacecraft pilot.

Arceneaux, 29, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, became the youngest American to ever travel to space and the first with a prosthesis. She had part of her femur removed when she was treated for bone cancer at 10 years old at St. Jude and has now returned there to help other children with cancer.

"It’s hard for me to wrap my head around because I think of myself as an ordinary person, but I hope that people can relate to me," she said.

The crew trained for six months before lifting off on Sept. 15 from Florida's Kennedy Space Center. They splashed back to Earth in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida three days later.

"Each of us have been changed in a way that maybe we didn't expect," said Sembroski, who is an Air Force veteran and data engineer. "And for me it was being able to see the Earth in a way that made me realize there is so much to see in person that I need to go and find those places and explore more."

Proctor, a scientist and artist, realized a lifelong dream after having previously been a finalist to become an astronaut for NASA.

"Being able to talk to girls of color, and women of color, about my experience, and even older women who sometimes when you think the best part of your life has passed you by as you’ve gotten older, that there's still a lot to learn, a lot to explore, a lot to do," she said.

Isaacman hopes the mission shows that traveling to space can be a dream for more than just professional astronauts.

"So I think having organizations like SpaceX that are working very hard to drive down the cost of spaceflight, to make it more accessible for others so that all of us can go out and journey among the stars," he said.

The trip doubled as a massive fundraiser for St. Jude, with Isaacman donating $100 million himself as part of a goal to raise $200 million for the hospital.

Arceneaux hopes her part in the historic mission can inspire children being treated for pediatric cancer and others facing struggles in life.

"I’ve had some difficulties in life, but I think everyone has in some way," she said. "I think everyone has had to overcome something, and I just I hope that people can look at my story and know that holding on to hope, that there will be better days, is so important."

The all-civilian SpaceX Inspiration4 mission is returning to Earth — you can watch it here live starting at 6PM Eastern.

Elon Musk's pledged donation will significantly boost funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where an Inspiration4 crew member works.

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Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who paid for the SpaceX Inspiration4 flight, pledged $100 million St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and set a goal of raising an additional $100 million by February 2022.

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"The views are out of this world," said crewmember Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old cancer survivor and physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee

A Chinese robotic resupply cargo spacecraft successfully docked with an orbiting space station module on Monday in the fourth of 11 missions needed to finish building China's first permanent space station by the end of next year. It successfully docked with the core Tianhe module of the space station at 1408 GMT. Tianzhou-3 will deliver fuel and supplies for three astronauts due to travel to the Tianhe module in October.

France canceled meetings with British and Australian officials and is trying to rally EU allies behind its push for more European sovereignty after being humiliated by major Pacific defense pact orchestrated by the U.S. Australia and Britain insisted Monday that the diplomatic crisis wouldn't affect their longer-term relations with France, which is seething over a surprise, strategic submarine deal involving the U.S., Australia and Britain that sank a rival French submarine contract. France recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia for the first time because of the deal, and its anger is showing few signs of subsiding.

Speaking of Amazon -- which is reportedly conducting an investigation to find whether its lawyers bribed government officials in India -- the company announced today it plans to roll out the voice shopping experience feature in the Hindi language in the South Asian market ahead of the Diwali festival in early November. The e-commerce giant, which rolled out the voice shopping experience in English last year, said the feature in the Hindi language -- which will roll out in “coming weeks” -- will enable users to search for products and check their order status using voice commands such as “joote dikhao,” which is Hindi for ‘show me shoes.’ Only 10% of India’s 1.3 billion people speak English.

"No, I'm not done. We'll see what happens here."

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Pre-order for the Fitbit Charge 5 starts from 20th September 2021 and ends on 27th September 2021. Read more here.

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