SpaceX announced that the Falcon 9 rocket is ready to send the Inspiration4 mission to space and awaiting its launch window.
On September 13, 2021, the rocket successfully completed a static fire test and the crew went through the full rehearsal of launch day activities, the company tweeted.
The five-hour launch window starts on September 15, 8:02 pm EDT.
Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Wednesday, September 15 for launch of Dragon’s first all-civilian human spaceflight. The 5-hour launch window opens at 8:02 p.m. EDT— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 13, 2021
Inspiration4 was funded by US billionaire Jared Isaacman, who is going to be the commander of the flight. He is going to be accompanied by physician Hayley Arceneaux, engineer Christopher Sembroski and entrepreneur Sian Proctor.
All four members of the mission are not affiliated with any space agency or military, making Inspiration4 the first all-civilian mission to orbit.
The spacecraft is expected to spend three days orbiting Earth, before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean on September 19, 2021.
Inspiration4 will use Crew Dragon Resilience, the same spacecraft that completed the company’s first crewed mission to the International Space Station in November 2020. The capsule was modified for the purpose of space tourism, replacing the docking adapter with an observation cupola.
In contrast to Blue Origin’s New Shepard and Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two that conducted spaceflights carrying billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson earlier this year, Crew Dragon, carried by the Falcon 9 rocket, is capable of reaching orbit – meaning that it can stay in space for extended periods of time and dock with other spacecraft.
So far, three crewed space flights have been conducted by SpaceX, in addition to half-a-dozen of automated ones. In early 2022 the Crew Dragon Resilience is planned to conduct the first all-civilian flight to ISS.
“Inspiration4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars,” Isaacman said in February 2021, when the mission was announced.