The first all-civilian crew that will launch from American soil will have an incredible view of Earth when they launch to space aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft in Autumn this year. The Inspiration4 mission will be a space tour in orbit booked by Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman who turned his adventure into a massive fundraising effort for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. The winners of the fundraising raffle and Shift4Shop contest where revealed during a press conference this morning. Isaacman will take an inspiring crew to space, former St. Jude patient Hayley Arceneaux who survived pediatric cancer, geoscience professor Dr. Sian Proctor, and Chris Sembroski, who served the U.S. Air Force. “Each of these outstanding crew members embodies the best of humanity, and I am humbled to lead them on this historic and purposeful mission and the adventure of a lifetime,” Isaacman said. Read more about the crew and selection in the article linked below.
Inspiration4 Announces Winners That Will Launch Aboard SpaceX’s First All-Civilian Crewhttps://t.co/QFnubeoCpv— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) March 30, 2021
During the conference, Isaacman revealed the Crew Dragon they will ride will feature a new window addition that will enable them to have a 360-degree-view of outer space. SpaceX will modify the spacecraft by adding a dome window atop, where the docking port to connect to the International Space Station (ISS) is located. SpaceX revealed the new render of the Crew Dragon with a dome earlier today –“A new view for crew,” they captionef the image. The window addition kind of looks like a smaller version of the ISS’s Cupola window. "Probably most 'in space' you could possibly feel by being in a glass dome," SpaceX founder Elon Musk stated.
A new view for crew pic.twitter.com/iSVwUyJT5R— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 30, 2021
Isaacman called the window an ‘engineering marvel’ from which they will see beautiful views of Earth at a higher-altitude than the views from the orbiting laboratory. Inspiration4 crewmembers will orbit Earth for around 3 days, besides enjoying incredible views of our home planet, the crew will video call children at St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital and conduct a variety of science experiments. “The orbital altitude that we're going to reach of north of 540-kilometers [355 miles] is actually symbolic, especially when you think about all of the missions that are going to follow ours, including the return to the moon,” Isaacman added. Regarding Dragon's 360-cupola window safety, SpaceX's Director of Crew Mission Management Benji Reed said –“We will continue to go through all the analysis and testing and qualification to ensure everything is safe, and that it doesn't preclude any use of this spacecraft for other missions.”
“Jared keeps saying it's incredibly important to recognize that these are everyday people [who] get to go to space, and that gives me goosebumps even right now talking about it, but the fact that we can give everyday people the coolest window that's ever flown, that's awesome,” Reed said. You can watch the Inspiration4 press conference in the video below.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.