The SpaceX’s Inspiration4 crew, made up of private citizens, spent their first day in orbit carrying out scientific research and communicating to children at a pediatric cancer hospital, after the launch of their first and pioneering mission from Cape Canaveral the night before.
In a tweet, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital shared that patients had the chance to talk to the four American space tourists, “asking the questions we all want to know like ‘are there cows on the Moon?'”
A $200 million target is being raised by billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the flight, to fund the research facility.
Inspiration4 is the first orbital space flight with an all-civilian crew.
In another earlier tweet, Elon Musk’s company shared that the four crew members were “healthy” and “happy,” had accomplished their first round of scientific research, and already had a couple of meals.
A tweet from Musk himself, shares his personal communication with the crew and he said, “all is well.”
By now, they should have also been able to enjoy a good view from the largest space window ever built, the Dragon ship’s cupola. For the first time, it has been fitted onto the vessel in place of its usual docking mechanism.
A new record of 14 total number of humans in space has been achieved with the addition of The Inspiration4 mission. Previously, the record was 13 people on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2009.
Seven people are now aboard the ISS. This includes two cosmonauts from Russia, as well as three astronauts from China on the spaceship Shenzhou-12. Their crew is bound home after its crew spent 90 days at the Tiangong space station.
The members who were whizzing around earth at an altitude that reaches 590 kilometers (367 miles) were Isaacman, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux and geoscientist Sian Proctor and aerospace data engineer Chris Sembroski.
This distance is deeper in space compared to ISS, which orbits at 420 kilometers (260 miles). This is also the furthest distance ventured by any human since the maintenance mission in 2009 for the Hubble telescope.
The ship speeds up to 17,500 mph (28,000 kph) plus they get to experience 15 sunrises and sunsets everyday.
This outrageous speed translates to a slower time for them compared to that on the surface due to the phenomenon called “relative velocity time dilation.”
The mission also aims to conduct more research on the biological effects of deep space on the bodies of the astronauts, aside from their goal of fundraising for charity.
Musk, in his tweet, added that “missions like Inspiration4 help advance spaceflight to enable ultimately anyone to go to orbit & beyond.”
The summer bookends the space adventure with the mark of the competition between billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos in reaching the final frontier.
However, these flights only offered weightlessness for a few minutes, instead of the Inspiration4’s experience of three full days of orbit, before they splash down off the coast of Florida on Saturday.