Four astronauts ended their journey in orbit on Saturday with a noise in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.
Their SpaceX The capsule was parachuted into the sea just before sunset, not far from where their charter flight began three days ago.
“On behalf of SpaceX, welcome back to Earth,” said the SpaceX Mission Controller. “Your mission was to show the world that we all have space.”
“Thank you so much, SpaceX,” Data Commander Jared Isaacman said during the landing. “It was a ride for us … just starting.”
All amateur crew first orbited the world without a professional astronaut.
The millionaire and his three guests, who paid millions in undisclosed amounts for the trip, wanted to show ordinary people that they could enter orbit on their own, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk took them as the company’s first rocket ride tourists.
SpaceX’s fully automatic Dragon capsule reached an unusual height of 585 km (363 miles) on Wednesday night after a good night’s sleep. Traversing the International Space Station 160 km away, travelers could view the Earth through a large bubble-shaped window inserted into the top of the capsule.
The four were the first astronauts to complete their flight over the Atlantic after Apollo 9 on Saturday evening, 1969, through the atmosphere. Two previous crews of SpaceX – with astronauts for NASA – were in the Gulf of Mexico.
Within minutes, a pair of SpaceX boats joined the popping capsule. It was loaded onto the rescue vessel where the hatch was opened. All four had to undergo medical tests before heading to the Kennedy Space Center by helicopter to be reunited with their families.
This time around, NASA was a little more than an inspiring observer, with its only tie to the Kennedy Space Center launch pad once used for the Apollo moonshots and spacecraft crew, but now leased by SpaceX.
The sponsor of the trip, Isaacman, 38, an entrepreneur and talented pilot, aims to raise $ 200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He donated $ 100 million and ran the lottery for one of the four seats. He ran a competition for Shift 4 Payments customers in his Allentown, Pennsylvania fee-processing business.
Accompanying him on the flight was Haley Arsenox, 29, a medical assistant at St. Jude’s Hospital in Mennes, Tennessee, where he was treated for bone cancer nearly two decades ago, and competition winners Chris Chembroski, 42, a data engineer at Everett, Washington, and Cian Proctor, 51, Associated Community College Educator, Scientist and Artist.
Strangers until March, they spent six months training and preparing for possible emergencies during the flight, called the Inspiration 4. Most of all seemed good, setting aside time to chat with St. Jude patients, do medical tests for themselves, ring the final bell for the New York Stock Exchange, play some drawing and ukulele.
Arsinox, the youngest American in space and the first to undergo artificial surgery, assured his patients: “I was a little girl in cancer treatment like a lot of you, and you can do this if I can.”
They took calls from Tom Cruise, who was interested in his own SpaceX flight to the space station and the rock band U2′s Bono for filming.
Their space menu isn’t even regular: cold pizza and sandwiches, but pasta bolognese and Mediterranean lamb. Before the descent began, Chembroski was very quiet, watching the 1987 Mel Brooks movie “Spaceballs” on his tablet and appearing in the capsule.
Nearly 600 people have reached space – a scorecard launched 60 years ago and is expected to hit the skies soon as space tourism heats up.
Benji Reid, director of SpaceX, expects six private flights a year between astronauts for NASA. Four SpaceX planes have been booked to take paid customers to the space station with NASA’s former astronauts.
The first three entrepreneurs pay $ 55 million each at the beginning of next year. Russia plans to hire an actor and film director for filming next month and a Japanese president in December.
Customers interested in rapid space travel turn to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The two flew their own rockets to the edge of space in July to promote ticket sales; Their flights lasted 10 to 15 minutes.
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