SpaceX is set to launch four people into space Wednesday on a three-day mission that is the first to orbit the Earth with exclusively private citizens on board.
A Falcon 9 rocket, with a Dragon capsule at its top, is scheduled to take place from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Wednesday at 8:02pm Eastern time (5:32am IST on Thursday). The mission is known as Inspiration4.
The spaceship’s trajectory will take it to an altitude of 575 kilometers (357 miles), deeper into space than the International Space Station (ISS). After that, the capsule will descend back to Earth, landing off the coast of Florida with the help of giant parachutes.
The trip is paid for by Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old high school dropout and founder of payments processing company Shift4 Payments. The other three crew members are 29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux, a pediatric cancer survivor and physician assistant, 42-year-old Chris Sembroski, a former US Air Force employee and Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geology professor.
Here are the five key things to know about the mission:
1. This spacecraft has already taken 10 astronauts to the ISS on three separate missions.
2. The Dragon capsule, eight meters high and four meters wide, has been modified for this flight. A huge glass dome has been installed to offer passengers a 360-degree view of space.
3. The Dragon capsule will orbit Earth for three days at an altitude higher than the ISS.
4. The crew trained for just under six months, compared to years of preparation required for professional astronauts. Though the flight is expected to be fully automated, the team has been trained by SpaceX to take control in the event of an emergency.
5. The crew members’ sleep, heart rate, blood and cognitive functions will be analyzed during the mission in order to study how rookies react in space.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com