KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL, September 18, 2021 – After three days orbiting Earth, the four astronauts of Inspiration4 flying aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 7:06 p.m. EDT. The return marks the completion of the world’s first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit, which launched on a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021.
The mission completed several historic firsts, including the:
· First all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit
· First black female spacecraft pilot
· Youngest American in space
· First person to fly to space with a prosthetic
· Farthest flight for a human spaceflight since the Hubble missions
· First time SpaceX has operated three Dragons in space
· First free-flight of a Dragon spacecraft on a human spaceflight mission
· Largest contiguous window ever flown in space
· First splashdown of a Dragon crew in the Atlantic Ocean
· First thrice-flown Falcon 9 booster to launch a human spaceflight mission
Finally, true to the mission’s name and purpose, Inspriation4 has raised nearly $154M dollars and counting for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.
SENDING HUMANS AND CARGO INTO SPACE
The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to 7 passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth, and is the first private spacecraft to take humans to the space station.
HEIGHT 8.1 m / 26.7 ft
DIAMETER 4 m / 13 ft
CAPSULE VOLUME 9.3 m³ / 328 ft³
TRUNK VOLUME 37 m³ / 1,300 ft³
LAUNCH PAYLOAD MASS 6,000 kg / 13,228 lbs
RETURN PAYLOAD MASS 3,000 kg / 6,614 lbs
FIRST ORBITAL CLASS ROCKET CAPABLE OF RE-FLIGHT
Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond. Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket. Reusability allows SpaceX to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket, which in turn drives down the cost of space access.
More pictures below: