Daily Mail UK states the Inspiration4 crew splashed down near Florida in the Atlantic Ocean last night. Landing just after 7 p.m., it ended the historic three-day journey. The Dragon capsule descended on four chutes towards Earth before hitting the water and floating above the surface.
Shortly afterward, SpaceX Mission Control contacted the crew via radio. Telling them, “Your mission has shown the world that space is for all of us,” it makes future all-civilian launches sound likely. Mission commander Jared Isaacman said of the mission: “Thanks so much SpaceX, it was a heck of a ride for us.”
Back in February when the Inspiration4 mission was announced, Elon Musk spoke to NBC News about the mission and potential dangers. “Any mission where there’s a crew on board makes me nervous. The risk is not zero.”
Musk continues about the launch’s significance and how it will become more commonplace as time progresses. “When you’ve got a brand new mode of transportation, you have to have pioneers. Things are expensive at first, and as you’re able to increase the launch rate, increase the production rate, refine the technology, it becomes less expensive and accessible to more people. We’ll all be with Jared on the journey and we’ll be seeing it in real-time. It’s an important milestone on the road toward making access to space more affordable.”
Hopefully, Musk’s words prove true and successes like this pave the way for more people to see space firsthand.
Inspiration4 Crew Member Shares Details of Crew’s Training
The Inspiration4 launch itself was a journey, but how did the civilian crew prepare for such an undertaking? Hayley Arceneaux, one of the four onboard, recently released a journal detailing the crew’s launch training.
“Every day of my life, there is some aspect of Inspiration4 preparation — exercise, study, planning, etc.,” Arceneaux wrote. “Every few weeks we train either on-site at SpaceX in California or another location for specialized sessions.”
One of the biggest undertakings was climbing Mt. Rainier. It served as both a training exercise and a method of bonding the crew members. Possessing a prosthesis in her leg from bone cancer in childhood, Arceneaux powered through. “Climbing a mountain is a lot like battling cancer. You have to keep the end goal in mind, but also take one — sometimes hard, painful, difficult — step at a time to reach your destination.”
Another big training exercise involved jet training in Montana. Flying with a former Thunderbird pilot, Arceanux asked to hit high G forces and to do some rolls, which the pilot obliged. “I’m proud to say we hit eight Gs [eight times the force of gravity], even more than I experienced during centrifuge training.”