The first all-citizen crew of astronauts is now orbiting Earth after a spectacular launch into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket late Wednesday.
Video of the launch showed the initial fireball lighting up the night sky as the rocket lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:02 p.m. local time.
The capsule can be seen swaying in the sky as it gains altitude. About 12 minutes into the flight, a flashing plume of light appeared as the Dragon capsule separated from the rocket’s second stage and the crew entered orbit, while the reusable first stage returned to Earth for a vertical landing on a sea barge. made his way back.
The team of four amateur astronauts is led by Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old billionaire e-commerce executive who is paying for the entire trip.
A SpaceX webcast of the launch showed Isaacman and his crewmates — Sean Proctor, 51, Hayley Arsinaux, 29, and Chris Sambroski, 42 — in the pressurized cabin of the white SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, called Resilience, in their flight suits. Wearing, with full helmet.
The spacecraft’s trajectory will take it to an altitude of 575 kilometers – deeper into space than the International Space Station.
After orbiting Earth for three days, the Dragon capsule will drop off the Florida coast.
In a statement on its website, the US space agency NASA said it was providing SpaceX and Inspiration 4 flight “a fully reimbursable, non-interference basis” including communications through the Kennedy Space Center, Ground control and services were included.
The flight marks the start of SpaceX owner Elon Musk’s new orbital tourism business.
Some information for this report has been obtained from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.