Inspiration 4 – First All Civilian Space Crew – Completes Three Day Trip in Orbit
Good news! After three days in orbit, Inspiration 4, the first ever all-civilian crew to enter space has retuned safely to Earth last Saturday. The crew was led by Jared Isaacman, billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments, and consisted of 29 year old Hayley Arceneaux, 51 year old Sian Proctor, and 42 year old Christopher Sembroski. The crew rode a SpaceX rocket and Crew Dragon capsule into orbit at 366 miles - further out than the International Space Station and the Hubble Telescope.
With the four civilians in space, humans briefly set a record with 14 people in orbit at the same time with ten astronauts aboard the ISS and China's nascent space station. The mission was a proof-of-concept for civilian interest and flight in space, but it was also a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - having raised over $160 million for the non-profit. Shortly after touchdown Elon Musk himself promised another $50 million to the hospital bringing the total to north of $200 million.
With relatively untrained civilians now experiencing space safely, the door is wide open for the private sector to seize the opportunity ahead (and above) of it. The 2020s will likely be the decade that defined the private space industry.
Source: NY Times