The crew of SpaceX’s first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4, has shared an update on how they have been spending their time in orbit — including performing scientific research, admiring the view from space, and enjoying art and music.
The Inspiration4 crew consists of mission commander Jared Isaacman, the billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments, pilot Sian Proctor who is a science communicator and won her seat in a competition, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux who is a physician at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and survivor of childhood cancer, and mission specialist Christopher Sembroski, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
“We’re cruising right now at 580 kilometers above the Earth, going about 7.6 kilometers per second,” Isaacman said by way of an introduction to the update. “So we’re really booking! We’re seeing the world every 90 minutes, that’s how fast we’re traveling around it. It’s pretty incredible.”
The crew showed off the interior of the Crew Dragon and their view of space, including an aurora which was visible as the crew passed over Europe. They enjoy an epic view from the Dragon’s cupola, the largest window ever flown in space. This is not a standard part of a Crew Dragon spacecraft but was installed specially for this mission, as unlike most other Crew Dragon missions this flight did not dock with the International Space Station and so didn’t need docking hardware.
“We have been spending so much time in this cupola,” said Arceneaux. “We can put our head in and fit multiple crew members and see the entire perimeter of the Earth, which just gives such incredible perspective. And the views, I have to say, are out of this world.”
The crew also described some of the research they have been doing using a portable ultrasound to measure how the human body changes in space, and Proctor shared some of the art she has been drawing while in orbit. As well as art, the crew has been enjoying space music too with a custom ukulele shown off by Sembroski.
As well as the live update, the crew has also given a recorded interview with patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, rung the closing bell for the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, September 17, and spoken with actor Tom Cruise and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
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