Richard Branson launched into space on 11 July, 2021. Just 9 days later on 20 July, Jeff Bezos went to space on his rocket. These were incredible achievements. Truly amazing giant leaps in space exploration in the private sector.
But yesterday, 16 September, 2021, 2 months or so after the two billionaires went to space in their own spaceships and rockets of their own space companies, SpaceX made history by launching 4 civilians (NOT astronauts) into low Earth orbit making Inspiration4 (the flight/mission’s name) “the first human spaceflight to orbit Earth with only private citizens on board”.
Four extremely special and inspiring human citizens were selected to sit on board the Crew Dragon Resilience (the pod in which they would spend three days in low Earth orbit) each one of them symbolized one of these four traits: leadership, hope, generosity, and prosperity.
Jared Isaacman symbolized leadership
Hayley Arceneaux for hope
Christopher Sembroski for generosity
and Sian Proctor for prosperity
Four amazing people with histories that inspire all aboard the spacecraft launched into low Earth orbit with a successful launch and smooth stage separations yesterday. (Their histories are beyond the scope of this article but are a good one to find out more on. Watch the documentary series: Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space on Netflix for hearing their amazing stories)
They will spend 3 days up in orbit, alone in space, with only their dragon capsule and then they’ll come back down to Earth splashing into the Atlantic Ocean with the help of parachutes on the capsule.
This is really a new era in space travel. Not governments going head to head in rivalry. Rather the private sector digging in, and making space more accessible and diverse to people on Earth apart from the usual rocket scientists and astronauts. The Inspiration4 mission really does execute on what was it’s main goal. It inspires, just as it set out to do.