After passing its readiness review, SpaceX’s first purely civilian mission, Inspiration4, is on track to launch in the next few weeks.
Launch on Wednesday, September 15, is now possible as the rocket, ground systems, and crew have completed a review. 12:00 a.m. is the scheduled opening time for the launch window. Rocket blasts off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A at about 11:30 a.m. UTC. In the event of bad weather, a second opportunity would be available the next day, Thursday, September 16.
“Teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 met yesterday at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California to evaluate the readiness of the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft, ground systems, recovery assets, crew training, and other key elements of SpaceX’s human spaceflight system for Inspiration4 — the historic first all-civilian human spaceflight mission to orbit,” SpaceX wrote in a statement. “Upon conclusion of the Flight Readiness Review, teams are proceeding toward a targeted launch.”
In addition, SpaceX said the Inspiration4 crew has been training for the mission for the past six months, including centrifuge training to get their bodies accustomed to the forces they’ll experience on the spacecraft as well as simulations of the Dragon spacecraft to gain more familiarity with its operations.
Although the glass dome window on the Dragon spacecraft allows crew members to see an amazing view from its orbit, the crew will not be purely observing while in space. In addition to conducting experiments on human health, scientists will also study diseases.
“The crew of Inspiration4 is eager to use our mission to help make a better future for those who will launch in the years and decades to come,” said Jared Isaacman, commander of the Inspiration4 mission. “In all of human history, fewer than 600 humans have reached space. We are proud that our flight will help influence all those who will travel after us and look forward to seeing how this mission will help shape the beginning of a new era for space exploration.”
It will be possible to follow the crew as they prepare to launch, as well as their subsequent return. If you’re curious about this mission, then you can watch along with the team. This mission will be the subject of a documentary airing on Netflix titled Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space scheduled to debut on September 6.