Monday, 25 October 2021 04:08 GMT

SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission successfully concludes, crew returns home safe


(MENAFN- NewsBytes) Elon Musk-led SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission successfully concluded as the Crew Dragon capsule splashed down off the Florida coast Saturday evening (around 4:35am IST Sunday). The landing marked the completion of the world's first spaceflight flown completely by civilians who weren't astronauts by profession. The crew was shown watching movies and intermittently communicating with SpaceX's mission control inside the fully autonomous spacecraft before reentry began.

In this article
  • Landing and splashdown were streamed live by SpaceX
  • The Inspiration4 mission crew's splashdown on Earth
  • Crew was flown to Florida by helicopter after landing
  • Some aspects of Inspiration4's mission didn't go according to plan
  • Temperature sensor on redundant Draco thruster also malfunctioned
  • Elon Musk announces $50 million contribution to fundraiser
  • Eventful flight included video-calling Tom Cruise
Fundraiser Landing and splashdown were streamed live by SpaceX

The SpaceX Inspiration4 mission is the first all-civilian spaceflight , effectively marking the beginning of space tourism per se. The mission is sponsored by Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman to raise funds for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The re-entry and landing were live-streamed by SpaceX and documented by Netflix for a docuseries on the mission.

Twitter Post The Inspiration4 mission crew's splashdown on Earth All smiles Crew was flown to Florida by helicopter after landing

The Crew Dragon capsule's heat shield ensured that the intense heat (approximately 1,926°C) from plasma buildup during re-entry wasn't transferred to the cabin where the ambient temperature didn't exceed 30°C. The reentry slowed the spacecraft down from orbital velocity and parachutes ensured a smooth landing. The crew was retrieved and flown to Florida by helicopter. All four space travelers were seen waving to cameras.

Flawless flight? Some aspects of Inspiration4's mission didn't go according to plan

During the post-flight briefing, SpaceX's Director of Crew Mission Management, Benji Reed, said some things didn't go according to plan. "You know we had a couple of issues...we worked, we did work something on the Waste Management System (sic)," Reed said. Inspiration4 Mission Director Todd Ericson clarified there was an issue with the waste management system's fan and a "backup plan" was implemented.

Details Temperature sensor on redundant Draco thruster also malfunctioned

Reed also mentioned that there was an issue with a temperature sensor in one of the Draco thrusters for the capsule. These thrusters are responsible for the propulsion and steering of the Crew Dragon after the booster rocket separation completes. The company took the "double redundant" sensor offline. Reed mentioned, "In fact that Draco (engine) itself was redundant, it was never a risk."

Activities in space Elon Musk announces $50 million contribution to fundraiser

As of Saturday evening, the mission raised $160 million of its $200 million goal. Then, in a tweet, Musk pledged to contribute $50 million to take the fundraiser $10 million over its goal. Inspiration4 astronauts Dr. Sian Proctor showed off artwork created in space with metallic markers. Fellow astronaut Chris Sembroski strummed a ukulele in space that will be auctioned off for the fundraiser.

Do you know? Eventful flight included video-calling Tom Cruise

Besides the aforementioned activities, Isaacman rang the bell on the New York Stock Exchange from space, video-called Tom Cruise, and even placed a $4,000 bet that the Eagles would win the Super Bowl. The crew also measured cranial pressure in their bodies in microgravity.

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