SpaceX on Wednesday evening successfully launched a crew of four amateur astronauts into space in a fully automatic Crew Dragon spacecraft. The mission, called Inspiration4, is the first full-civilian orbital flight ever launched. On Friday, the crew sent back their first snapshots of the space journey through the mission’s Twitter account.
Photos posted on Inspiration4’s Twitter page showed the four passengers floating in zero-gravity inside a modified SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule (with a glass dome) with our home planet in the background.
The crew has been in Earth’s orbit for just a day, but have already seen the sun rise and set 15 times, the mission’s Twitter handle posted early Friday.
One of the crew members, Haley Arceneaux, a physician’s assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, shared a 30-second video through St. Jude’s Twitter account of herself giving a virtual tour of the passenger cabin, especially the glass cupola, which SpaceX designed specifically for this mission to allow a better view from space.
Arceneaux is one of three passengers invited by the fintech billionaire Jared Issacman, who bought the entire flight. The other two passengers are Chris Sembroski, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and Sian Proctor, a planetary science professor at the South Mountain Community College in Arizona.
The Inspiration4 crew will spend three days in Earth’s orbit at an altitude of 357 miles, about 100 miles higher than the average orbital height of the International Space Station.
The crew is scheduled to give a live in-orbit update about their journey so far at 5 p.m. Friday. You can watch the event on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.