An all-civilian, non-astronaut crew, including a childhood cancer survivor, is ready for blastoff this week on a history-making SpaceX flight. Launch is scheduled for Wednesday evening for the first fully commercial, non-government flight to orbit, a charity-driven mission proponents say will open the door for “everyday people” to fly in space.
The four civilian fliers who will rocket into orbit this week on the privately-managed Inspiration4 mission took their seats inside a SpaceX crew capsule Sunday night in Florida during a dress rehearsal for launch day. Hours later, once the crew members cleared the launch pad, SpaceX test-fired the Falcon 9 rocket set to launch the Inspiration4 mission.
The four private citizens who will fly into orbit later this month on a chartered SpaceX capsule visited their spaceship at Cape Canaveral this week for fit checks. On Wednesday, officials released the first pictures of the cupola window attached to the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft, a new addition that will offer the crew expansive views of planet Earth from an altitude of more than 350 miles.
SpaceX launched a Dragon cargo capsule from Florida on a thundering predawn ascent into orbit early Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, kicking off the company’s 23rd commercial resupply flight to the International Space Station. The rocket’s reusable booster was the first to land on a new SpaceX drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.