SpaceX Inspiration4 Launches Four Passengers To Orbit In Company’s First-Ever Tourism Mission
On Wednesday evening, SpaceX’s Inspiration4 rocket launched into orbit, kicking off the first-ever mission to Earth’s orbit crewed entirely by space tourists.
Spotlights dramatically illuminated the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and when the Inspiration4’s nine engines fired just soon after 8 pm ET, the surrounding wetlands were flooded with an explosion of light as the rocket took off into the upper atmosphere, decorating the night’s sky with an eerie light show.
Orbital speeds of over 17,000 miles per hour were reached before the capsule carrying the four space tourists detached from the rocket and began to steer towards its intended orbit. The passengers will remain onboard their 13-foot-wide SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule for three days as it travels through orbit before returning to Earth for a splashdown landing just off the coast of Florida on Saturday.
In the past, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said he is intent on making humans a “a multi-planet species” as he pioneers the private space industry and beyond.