SpaceX’s first purely civilian mission, Inspiration4, has passed its readiness review, with the flight ready to go ahead in the next couple of weeks.
With the review complete, the rocket, ground systems, and crew are now ready for launch on Wednesday, September 15. The launch window is scheduled to open at 12:00 a.m. UTC, with the rocket blasting off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If there are problems with the weather, there will be another opportunity to launch the next day, Thursday, September 16.
“Teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 met yesterday at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California to evaluate the readiness of the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft, ground systems, recovery assets, crew training, and other key elements of SpaceX’s human spaceflight system for Inspiration4 — the historic first all-civilian human spaceflight mission to orbit,” SpaceX wrote in a statement. “Upon conclusion of the Flight Readiness Review, teams are proceeding toward a targeted launch.”
SpaceX also said that the Inspiration4 crew has spent the last six months training for the mission, including spending time in centrifuge training and zero-gravity training to get their bodies accustomed to the forces they’ll experience as well as spending time in simulations of the Dragon spacecraft to learn its operations.
#Inspiration4 and @SpaceX have completed our flight readiness review and remain on track for launch! Read more about launch details and potential timing here: https://t.co/Wj7hSWDOXZ pic.twitter.com/X8L9ZKk8Wl
— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 3, 2021
While in orbit, the crew won’t be purely observing — although they will have a pretty great view thanks to the Dragon’s glass dome window. They will also be conducting research into human health as part of a series of experiments.
“The crew of Inspiration4 is eager to use our mission to help make a better future for those who will launch in the years and decades to come,” said Jared Isaacman, commander of the Inspiration4 mission. “In all of human history, fewer than 600 humans have reached space. We are proud that our flight will help influence all those who will travel after us and look forward to seeing how this mission will help shape the beginning of a new era for space exploration.”
If you’re intrigued by the idea of this mission, then you can watch along with the crew preparing for the launch along with subsequent coverage of them after they return. Netflix is showing a documentary about the mission called Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space which is set to premiere on Monday, September 6.