SpaceX Launches First Civilian Crew Rocket

Inspiration 4 Mission

Seamus Looney, Reporter

On September 16, 2021 at 8:02 p.m., SpaceX made history by sending the first fully civilian crewed rocket to Space. The four civilians are experiencing this once in a lifetime opportunity, with no professional astronauts aboard. The all-civilian crew launched into orbit aboard a rocket capsule SpaceX engineered. The project has put Americans the farthest they have been into space since 2009. 

The project picked up the name Inspiration 4. The launch served not only as a pioneer and inspiration for civilian space travel, but also as a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. The project raised up to $200 million and will serve as a model for civilian space travel for years to come.

The crew took off in a reusable Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla.. This historic mission was led by 38 year old billionaire and businessman, Jared Isaacman. Isaacman not only led but was a passenger on the Falcon 9 rocket. The crew was titled The Crew Dragon. Along with Isaacman the four team crew was made up of Dr. Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and science communicator, retired Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski, and Hayley Acreneaux, a cancer survivor and physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s research hospital. At 29 years old, Arceneaux is the youngest American to fly in space. She will serve as the crew’s chief medical officer.

 The launch was seemingly issue free. The crew is scheduled to orbit the Earth at an altitude of 357 miles for 15 sun rises and sets following the initial launch. When the crew re-enters the atmosphere they will land in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. 

Both for the scientific benefit and its charitable work the Inspiration 4 will serve as a pioneer for future technology. SpaceX plans to launch another rocket on Oct. 31, 2021. The all- astronaut crew, including three NASA astronauts and one ESA astronaut, is currently headed to the International Space Station.