SpaceX launch LIVE: Inspiration 4 latest updates today as launch time from Florida approaches

Inspiration4, SpaceX’s all-civilian mission into orbit, is just hours from launch.

The launch window opens at 1am on Thursday morning UK time, or 8pm local eastern time. It is open for five hours, meaning that it will be delayed if the team are not able to fit in that window.

There will be a live stream of the launch, which will be embedded on this page as soon as it’s available.

After launch, the team will fly higher in orbit than any human since the Space Shuttle, spending three days in space conducting experiments and experiencing Earth at a distance. They will then fall back down to Earth, landing in the ocean for a splashdown.

If the mission is a success, it will mark a major step forward for space tourism, and for Elon Musk and SpaceX’s plans to make it accessible to anyone with the money to fund a rocket and spacecraft to carry them to orbit.


The cancer survivor SpaceX will take to orbit

Representing “Hope” for the mission is cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux.

Anyone who has watched Netflix’s Countown docu-series about the mission will be familiar with Arceneaux’s incredible story, who now works at the same children’s hospital that she was treated at for bone cancer at the age of 10.

She has been assigned the job of Medical Officer and will oversee the medical care and experiments during the Inspiration4 mission.

Arceneaux will break a number of records today: becoming the first person with a prosthesis in space, and the first paediatric cancer survivor in space. She would’ve also been the youngest person in space but was pipped to this record by an 18-year-old onboard Jeff Bezos’s recent jaunt to the edge of space (whose ticket was paid for by his rich dad).

You can read her story here.

Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 21:25


Profiles of the SpaceX Inspiration4 crew

There are four people aboard the first all-civilian mission to orbit today, and we’ve got profiles of all of them.

With just under four hours to go until launch, there’s plenty of time to read them if you want to learn more about this pioneering group.

First up, there’s the Commander of the mission, Jared Isaacman.

The billionaire entrepreneur was the first seat confirmed, having committed $100 million to help make it happen.

As with the rest of the crew, Isaacman has given himself a virtue that he will embody. He is “Leadership”, with the others representing “Hope”, “Generosity” and “Prosperity”.

You can read more about him here.

Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 21:12


Inspiration4 crew emerge from SpaceX hangar

The crew for today’s mission has just emerged from a hangar to be greeted by a cheering crowd.

After a few waves they climb into a couple of Tesla Model X’s waiting for them, where family friends lean in through the windows and say their final in-person farewells.

They’ll be heading from Hangar X to the new SpaceX suit-up room just down the road.


Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 21:00


SpaceX Inspiration4 live stream launches

With just over four hours to go until the launch window opens for the Inspiration4 mission, SpaceX has launched its live stream – sort of.

For now it’s just the SpaceX logo floating in space with some pretty intense music, but there’s already more than 60,000 people tuned in to watch it.

You can watch the live stream at the top of this page (you may need to refresh the page to see it).

Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 20:49


Weather ‘looking good’ for SpaceX Inspiration4 launch

SpaceX has shared an image of the Crew Dragon capsule atop the Falcon 9 rocket booster.

“All systems and weather are looking good,” the firm tweeted.

The live stream will be here in about 10 minutes, counting down the four hours until liftoff. We’ll have the webcast right here for you as soon as it’s live.

Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 20:37


Training day

All the crew members, including commander Jared Isaacman, flight’s medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, mission pilot Sian Proctor, and mission flight specialist Chris Sembroski received commercial astronaut training including lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in a microgravity, stress testing, emergency preparedness training, and mission simulations

“For many months, for 100s of hours, at SpaceX locations, they have been doing all kinds of training: They have studied over 90 different kinds of training guides and manuals and lessons to learn to fly Crew Dragon, and what to do under emergency situations,” a spokesperson noted in a live stream Q&A with the Inspiration4 crew.

“Something else they have done to prepare are simulations, or what we call Sims, It’s where the crew actually gets suited up, or whatever their appropriate attire would be during the phase of the flight they are in, and get into a simulator of a Dragon capsule with their comms on and have everything going,” SpaceX said.

Adam Smith15 September 2021 20:00


SpaceX Inspiration4 to have ‘best bathroom view in human history’

At 575 km up, the crew of Inspiration4 is going to have an incredible view of Earth. Its higher altitude means it will beat the one from the International Space Station (ISS), offering a much broader look at our planet.

Of all the windows onboard Crew Dragon capsule, it will arguably be the one from the toilet that offers the best view. The toilet is on the ceiling, which is usually covered by a docking adaptor for the ISS.

Without the need to dock, the adaptor has reportedly been replaced with a glass dome window, which describes as “arguably the best bathroom view in human history”.


Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 19:33


Sian Proctor, an artist and poet, said she was thinking about the mission in a less scientific sense.

“From just an artistic standpoint, I’m excited to bring paint and do some art in space. I’m thinking about the fluid dynamics of watercolors and pulling paint from the palette and putting it on to the paper, but also pens and markers and really trying to show my students what that looks like and how that process is happening in space”, she told reporters, as quoted by Space.

Adam Smith15 September 2021 19:31


SpaceX will also monitor the crew’s genetics, microbiomes, and other variables – with the samples and data cryogenically frozen in a planned Biobank.

The crew’s organ systems will be scanned via an artificially-intelligent ultrasound device, currently being tested by astronauts on the International Space Station, that provides guidance for non-medical experts.

The aim is to determine how much ground support is necessary for the crew to acquire clinical-level images, as well as providing a timeline of biological changes pre- and post-flight.

“I’m so excited about the medical research that we’re going to be doing on this flight,” Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the flight’s medical officer, said during the briefing, as reported by Space.

“We’re really excited about the ultrasound. It’s really a unique opportunity. I know the docs at SpaceX are really excited; we are too.”

Adam Smith15 September 2021 19:00


Inspiration4 will go more than 5-times higher than Bezos and Branson

When the Inspiration4 crew launches, they’ll be reaching an altitude of around 575km.

This is the highest any humans have gone into orbit since the servicing missions of the Hubble Telescope, and is nearly 200km higher than the current orbit of the International Space Station (ISS).

For context, the recent jaunts by Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos were a mere 80km and 106km respectively.

Inspiration4’s trip will also be much longer, lasting three days in total. By the time they return, they will have orbited the Earth nearly 50 times.


Anthony Cuthbertson15 September 2021 18:32

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