SpaceX Inspiration4 Launch: When And Where You Can Watch Live As ‘Proper’ Space Tourism Begins This Week

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The first all-civilian mission to orbit our planet is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 reusable rocket during a launch window that opens on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.

Unlike the super-short flights to the edge of space by Richard Branson in Virgin Galactic’s supersonic jet plane and Jeff Bezos in a Blue Origin capsule, the Inspiration4 mission will send four people into orbit for three days in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule called Resilience

The mission will launch four astronauts—Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Dr. Sian Proctor and Christopher Sembroski—to “proper” orbital space on top of a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The mission is a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

They will become the first orbital space tourists since Guy LaLiberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, visited the International Space Station (ISS) in 2009.

Inspiration4 will also be the first crewed orbital mission not to dock with the ISS since the Space Shuttle’s final Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, also in 2009.

They will splashdown in at Atlantic Ocean three days after launch. 

When will Inspiration4 launch?

The Inspiration4 mission is due to launch at 8:02 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

However, that time is the beginning of a five-hour launch window, so it could be anytime within that timeframe. Weather conditions are rated as 70% favorable.

A backup window is available opening at 8:05 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 16, 2021. 

Where and when to livestream the Inspiration4 launch

If you want to watch live as Dragon’s first all-civilian human spaceflight launches, head over to the official YouTube channel of SpaceX for a livestream of the event. 

Where to watch the Inspiration4 mission documentary

Four episodes of the Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space documentary are now showing on Netflix, with the next episode expected on September 30, 2021. 

Who is on the Inspiration4 mission? 

The crew of four—none of whom have any previous spaceflight experience but have been training since March—comprises: 

Jared Isaacman, 38, will become the the third billionaire in space in 2021. The founder of a company called Shift4 Payments, he’s the commander of the mission and the purchaser of it. He’s an experienced aircraft pilot. 

Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where as a child she had treatment for bone cancer. 

Chris Sembroski, 42, an aerospace industry professional at Lockheed Martin, data engineer and Air Force Iraq veteran.

Dr. Sian Proctor, 51, a geoscientist, geology professor and science communicator.

What will the Inspiration4 mission do? 

It’s fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, so the flight includes a bunch of novelty items that are being sent to space for commercial reasons, in return for huge donations (such as hops to make “space beer”).

The astronauts will also conduct science experiments while in orbit as well as be able to look through a special “cupola” window installed in the Crew Dragon capsule.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes. 

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