‘Happy’ SpaceX Tourist Crew Spends First Day Whizzing Around Earth

The all-civilian crew of SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission had a thrilling first day in orbit. After launching from Cape Canaveral the previous night, they conducted scientific research and even had an opportunity to speak with children at a pediatric cancer hospital. St Jude, the hospital, tweeted that their young patients got the chance to ask the space tourists intriguing questions like, “Are there cows on the Moon?” It was an exciting moment for everyone involved.

'Happy' SpaceX Tourist Crew Spend First Day Whizzing Around Earth

Jared Isaacman, the billionaire who chartered the flight, has a goal of raising $200 million for a research facility. The success of the Inspiration4 mission is crucial in achieving this ambitious target, as it is the first orbital spaceflight to solely consist of private citizens. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, confirmed that the crew was doing well and had completed their initial round of scientific research. They even had the opportunity to enjoy a few meals during their journey.

The crew also got a chance to marvel at the incredible view from the Dragon ship’s cupola, which is the largest space window ever built. This remarkable feature has been added to the vessel for the first time, replacing its usual docking mechanism. It allows the crew members to gaze out into the vastness of space and take in the breathtaking sights.

Interestingly, the Inspiration4 mission has set a new record for the number of humans currently in space. With 14 people in space, it surpasses the previous record of 13 people on the International Space Station in 2009. The crew is currently at an altitude of 590 kilometers (367 miles), which is deeper in space than the ISS. Their orbit reaches further than any humans have ventured since a 2009 maintenance mission for the Hubble telescope.

As they travel through space at a remarkable speed of about 17,500 mph (28,000 kph), the crew members will experience approximately 15 sunrises and sunsets each day. This high velocity also results in a phenomenon called “relative velocity time dilation,” where time appears to pass slightly slower for them than for people on the surface.

Beyond the excitement and adventure, the Inspiration4 mission serves a bigger purpose. Apart from the charitable fundraising aspect, it aims to study the effects of deep space on the astronauts’ bodies. The data gathered from this mission will significantly contribute to the advancement of spaceflight and the realization of Elon Musk’s vision for space travel.

This extraordinary space adventure concludes a summer marked by the rivalry between billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos in their quest to explore the final frontier. However, unlike their brief moments of weightlessness, the crew of Inspiration4 will spend three whole days in orbit before returning to Earth, with a planned splashdown off the coast of Florida on Saturday. It’s an incredible journey that will surely leave a lasting impact on the crew members and inspire future generations to reach for the stars.