SpaceX Rolls Out Falcon 9 Rocket & Crew Dragon That Will Launch The First All-Civilian Crew

Evelyn Arevalo by Evelyn Arevalo September 12, 2021

SpaceX Rolls Out Falcon 9 Rocket & Crew Dragon That Will Launch The First All-Civilian Crew

SpaceX rolled out the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon that will launch the first all-civilian crew to historic Launch Pad-39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center. The Inspiration4 space tourists will launch from the same launch pad astronauts lifted off from during the Apollo moon missions. Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman purchased the private space tour that aims to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He invited a former St. Jude patient Hayley Arceneaux on the space adventure; she survived bone cancer and now works in the hospital’s oncology department as a physician assistant. They will travel to space alongside Geoscience Professor Dr. Sian Proctor and former Air Force member/data engineer Chris Sembroski.

“Teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 are now targeting a five-hour launch window for the Inspiration4 mission opening at 8:02 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 15. If needed for any reason, a backup window is available opening at 8:05 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 16,” representatives announced. “Teams selected the five-hour launch window based upon weather forecasts for the launch site, along the ascent corridor, and possible landing locations off the coasts of Florida for a safe return of the crew and splashdown a few days later. The latest forecast from the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 70% chance of favorable conditions for liftoff at the launch complex,” they wrote in a press release this weekend.

The Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Inspiration4 crew to orbit is a previously-flown rocket, identified as booster B1062-3. It previously supported a pair of GPS-III satellite deployments for the U.S. Space Force. SpaceX shared a photo of the rocket at Pad-39A, it is filled with black scorch marks from reentering Earth’s atmosphere twice before. The Crew Dragon spacecraft they will ride is the same one that launched SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station, called Resilience.

Engineers modified the Resilience spacecraft for the Inspiration4 mission. The vehicle now features a large dome window to enjoy views of outer space while they orbit Earth for three days. The crew will orbit at an altitude higher than the International Space Station (ISS) at over 575-kilometers above Earth. The crew plans to perform some science research during their time in orbit and also send an inspiring message to the children at St. Jude. They will also carry some cool items to space that will be auctioned to raise funds for the hospital, you can bid for the items via St. Jude’s official website stjude.org/inspiration4Read more: SpaceX Inspiration4 Will Auction Items Flown To Space To Fundraise For St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Including NFT Music & Art!

“SpaceX and the crew of Inspiration4 are conducting dry dress – a full rehearsal of launch day activities – tonight [September 12] followed by a static fire test of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle,” mission representatives shared, “Activity in advance of launch has been picking up with the crew’s last day of training in Hawthorne on Wednesday, arrival in Florida on Thursday, and several payload announcements, as well as Dragon’s mate with Falcon 9 and roll to vertical on the pad at historic Launch Pad 39A.”

 

All Images Source: Inspiration4 & SpaceX





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