Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian orbital mission, has concluded with a splashdown in the ocean.
After spending three days in orbit, the members of the first all-civilian orbital mission have been safely and soundly delivered to the surface of the planet.
The capsule has been lifted aboard the SpaceX Go Navigator ship, a vessel the company uses for the recovery of Dragon capsules.
The splashdown occured on September 18, 7:06 p.m. EDT (23:06 GMT), in an Atlantic ocean east of Florida and northeast of Puerto Rico.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 18, 2021
The livestream of the recovery showed some members struggling to walk after leaving the capsule, following three days in a weightless environment.
The crew consisted of physician Hayley Arceneaux, engineer Christopher Sembroski, entrepreneur Sian Proctor and billionaire Jared Isaacman, who funded the mission and was the commander of the flight.
The mission took off on September 15, 2021, aboard the modified Crew Dragon Resilience capsule carried by a Falcon 9 rocket.
Unlike previous space tourism missions, Inspiration4 was an orbital one, capable of staying above Earth’s atmosphere for extended periods of time. It was also fully crewed by civilians, whose behavior and cognitive performance in space has been extensively recorded, providing data for future research.
It was Crew Dragon’s fourth successful manned flight, and the second flight for this particular capsule, which already flew to the Space Station in 2020.