San Francisco: Inspiration4, run by tech billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX, has launched its first all-civilian mission to orbit on Thursday.
SpaceX's charity-driven mission named Inspiration4 lifted off at 8:02 p.m. EDT Wednesday (5.30 am India time Thursday) aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It is commanded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and joined by Medical Officer Haley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and pediatric cancer survivor; Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer; and Mission Pilot Dr. Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur, and trained pilot.
SpaceX is targeting a five-hour launch window. The crew will orbit Earth aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule every 90 minutes along a customised flight path.
The three-day mission will target approximately a 575 km orbit, flying farther from Earth than any human spaceflight since the Hubble Space Telescope repair missions.
Upon conclusion of the three-day journey, Dragon and the Inspiration4 crew will re-enter Earth's atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.