SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Mission Explained – Why It Was So Important.


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SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Mission Explained – Why It Was So Important.

SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Mission Explained – Why It Was So Important.

After splashing back down in the Atlantic Ocean on September 18th, SpaceX’s and the world’s first all-civilian mission to orbit came to an official end. To call the nearly three-day mission a milestone in the space world would be an understatement, especially considering how big of an accomplishment Inspiration4 was. Although it’s only been a few days since its crewed splashdown, there have already been thousands of articles and interviews over this historical moment. So, why is Inspiration4 such a big deal, and why was it so important?

Well, the most apparent reason is thanks to just who was onboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft. Contrary to every mission beforehand, four civilians were chosen to take the revolutionary trip to orbit. While that might not seem like a necessarily massive step in terms of space flight, it is. The Inspiration4 mission was proof to SpaceX, Elon Musk, and the entire world that privately crewed space flights are a possibility.

We’ve never seen anything like this before, with a computer piloted spaceflight containing civilians exclusively. Usually, you have a few astronauts on board, who have faced hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of training, planning, and have had quite a bit of flight experience. However, while two newly christened astronauts, Jared Isaacman and Christopher Sembroski, have previous flying experience, it’s nothing close to piloting a near-13,000-kilogram spacecraft.

Inspiration4 was truly the first time Wikipedia could throw the mission type « space tourism » on the mission’s page without hiding the usual extreme stress and physical work put behind piloting a spacecraft. With Inspiration4, it was indeed tourism. Four tourists aboard the road trip of a lifetime.

To state how crucial this is in pushing SpaceX’s goals for eventual tourist trips to Mars, realize that this trip could have worked with anybody. Sure, the crew had to go through a few months of preparation training, although they didn’t have to use it. But, theoretically, they could have had no training, hopped within the Dragon capsule, and had the same experience. Not a single person had to do anything that interrupted the mission.

If SpaceX can send everyday citizens and a billionaire into space with little-to-no training in 2021, imagine what the technology they’re planning to bring to the market will be able to do in a few years. We’re already at the point that a private company can send people into space because they want to. It’s that simple.


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