During the early hours of this Thursday, SpaceX successfully launched Inspiration4 مهمة mission, the first civilian crew, marking A new milestone for commercial space travel. It also showcased for the first time its magnificent glass dome 360 degree view of the earth.
This is the glass dome Replaces the docking and hatch system used by astronauts From NASA to reach the International Space Station (ISS), so it will only be used on tourist missions that don’t need docking.
The SpaceX engineers themselves defined the adaptation as an “engineering marvel,” because “The biggest space window I’ve ever flown“.
The visual scene began when the SpaceX capsule was left outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Open the metal cover slowly to reveal The dome allows the crew to enjoy the view. Of course, it’s a small space, so you can only do them one by one.
When the Crew Dragon enters Earth’s atmosphere again on the way back, the ship will activate Hinged cover can be moved back into position And make a full seal to avoid the impact of some small body.
As Musk himself explained, the dome has a similar function to the observation module that was installed on the International Space Station in 2010, but in the case of the Crew Dragon, the dome consists of 1 piece of clear glassWhile on the International Space Station, the module consists of several panels in the form of small observation windows.
This historic step for private space travel comes after several months of significant activity by NASA thanks to SpaceX rockets and reusable capsules, reducing the costs of new commercial missions, which began in 2020.
But this time the crew They are billionaire pilot Jared Isakman, flight engineer Chris Sembrowski, medical assistant Hayley Arsenault, a cancer survivor, and scientist and educator Sian Proctor.
The four civilians, hours before takeoff. Photo EFE
The four civilians, who have been training for six months in zero-gravity maneuvers, will now cross Earth at a speed of about 28,160 kilometers per hour and orbit the planet every 90 minutes.
Unlike previous commercial missions, which were specifically responsible for bringing astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), this new mission takes civilians to a greater distance from Earth than those of the aforementioned international laboratories.
It will reach an altitude of about 575 kilometers from Earth, about 160 kilometers higher than the International Space Station, “farther than any other human spaceflight since the Hubble missions (540 kilometers),” according to SpaceX.
Civilians on the takeoff ramp. Photo EFE
This tour also beats recent sub-orbital flights at three times the speed of sound by millionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, leaders of the space companies Virgin and Blue Origin, respectively, who experienced weightlessness for just a few minutes.
Inspiration4 is SpaceX’s fourth manned mission, but the first to not carry professionally trained astronauts, and it also aims to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.