SpaceX Inspiration4 Mission Delivers First Photos from Orbit
The crew of the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission, which launched on Wednesday, has now spent a full day in space, sleeping, eating, and even placing bets on sporting events. But, except for a teaser video of the Crew Dragon’s nose’s translucent cupola, we haven’t seen much from inside the restricted confines of their temporary orbital home.
Thankfully, photographs from the crew’s first day in orbit have emerged, allowing us to see what life is like inside the Dragon.
The images, which were shared on Thursday evening on the Inspiration4 Twitter account, show the crew members enjoying the cupola, with mission specialist Chris Sembroski keenly focusing his camera from within the curved window and medical officer Hayley Arceneaux seemingly floating upward toward the Earth.
The crew of #Inspiration4 had an incredible first day in space! They’ve completed more than 15 orbits around planet Earth since liftoff and made full use of the Dragon cupola. pic.twitter.com/StK4BTWSA6
— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 17, 2021
“Not sure how these photos are free of happy tears, to be honest. I feel like I would be bawling my eyes out floating around in the cupola.”
The trip, which was funded by billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman and featured Sian Proctor, a geology professor and the fourth African American woman in space, as the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission pilot, is the first to feature an entirely private crew.
The Crew Dragon orbits the Earth at an altitude of roughly 364 miles (585 kilometers), the furthest distance flown by people since the Space Shuttle STS-103 trip in 1999. The team will be exposed to higher amounts of radiation than astronauts on the International Space Station or China’s Tiangong space station, and their health will be closely monitored so that scientists and researchers may learn more about the impacts of spaceflight on “normal” people rather than those superhuman astronauts.
In the future, you should expect to see a lot more from “regular citizens.” In partnership with Axiom Space, SpaceX wants to send four people to the International Space Station in January 2022, and Tom Cruise is set to go to the station for a film production the following year.
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