Inspiration4 Crew Starts Training With SpaceX's Crew Dragon Spacecraft Simulator

Inspiration4 Crew Starts Training With SpaceX's Crew Dragon Spacecraft Simulator

SpaceX’s all-civilian Inspiration4 crew continues to train for their upcoming space tour scheduled for September this year. The Inspiration4 mission is funded by Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman who seeks to inspire the public to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The crew’s medical chief, Hayley Arceneaux, was a former patient of the hospital, she survived bone cancer as a child and has a prosthetic metal in her leg. Participating in the Inspiration4 mission as a cancer survivor will inspire kids at St. Jude to remain hopeful and believe that all their dreams can be possible. Arceneaux will be the first person in space who has a prosthetic and become the youngest American woman to visit space, at just 29 years old. 

Isaacman and Arceneaux started to bond with the other crewmembers, Dr. Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski. The crew had an adventurous expedition up Camp Muir on Mount Rainier in Washington state in May. “We are going to work on getting comfortable being uncomfortable,” said Inspiration4 commander Isaacman before climbing up to Camp Muir which is over 14,400 feet in altitude. The crew completed their climb up the mountain in one day and camped up there for two days to enjoy beautiful views from the mountain. “Mt. Rainier training objective complete. Most people train for six months to take on Rainier. This Inspiration4 crew had 30 days. I am so proud!” Jared said in a press release.

Then the crew started training with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft simulator to familiarize themselves with the vehicle. “Inspiration4 pilot Dr. Sian Proctor spent some time at the helm of a Citation CJ3 jet this weekend en route to training events in California this week!” Inspiration4 representatives announced via Twitter on May 24. Dr. Proctor is training alongside Isaacman inside a Dragon cockpit simulator at SpaceX headquarters. The duo will be in charge of the spacecraft’s flight operations during their three day voyage to space. The Dragon spacecraft will feature a new dome window that will enable them to have a 360-degree-view of outer space as they orbit Earth along a customized flight path. Dragon will operate autonomously, however, Isaacman and Proctor need to learn how to manually control the spacecraft in case it is needed. “1st week learning to fly a Dragon was both AWESOME & INTENSE. I got lots of time in the Dragon sim with my commander Isaacman & also got pressurized in a SpaceX spacesuit. I look back at this amazing week and say, ‘wow, did all that really happen!’” Dr. Proctor shared her excitement on Twitter.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft includes touchscreens and toggles to control it manually. The simulator features a replica of Dragon’s cockpit. “Crew training continues for Inspiration4 commander Isaacman and pilot Dr. Sian Proctor, with more time spent in SpaceX simulators to familiarize the team with various aspects of flying Dragon!” they announced on June 1, pictured below. Each screen provides orbital flight tracking. They awill be able to adjust the displays to look at different views of Earth. The software features an option to switch to manual control to steer the craft, displaying an attitude control view on the screens. SpaceX says Crew Dragon's displays provide real-time information on anything from Dragon's position in space, to possible destinations, and the environment onboard. A simple tap on a screen is capable of igniting Dragon’s integrated space thrusters to slightly alter the craft's direction.

Besides familiarizing with the spacecraft, the Inspiration4 crew training includes “orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, emergency preparedness, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises and partial- and full-mission simulation,” project representatives shared.



All Images Source: Inspiration4 via Twitter

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

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.

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