On the evening of Wednesday, September 15th, the historic Space X capsule is set to launch the first spacecraft to orbit Earth with a crew of astronauts not trained by the government.
Once reaching orbit, the Inspiration 4 crew will circle the globe every 90 minutes, traveling at roughly 28-thousand kilometers-per-hour. The astronauts will reach an altitude of about 580 kilometers that's higher than the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope.
The spacecraft is owned and operated by SpaceX, not NASA and carrying out the mission are four civilian astronauts who have trained for months all funded by billionaire entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who will also be on board.
"It is the first time that a global superpower has sent people up into orbital space, and I think that should send a message of all the things to come."
The other three crewmembers are a cancer survivor turned nurse, a geology professor and a data engineer.
None of them have ever been to space before.
"And I remember getting off the phone and my hands were shaking. It was just so exhilarating. This is definitely not something I ever imagined would happen. But I think that's what makes it so fun for me."
This Inspiration 4 mission is far more daring and dangerous than the recent suborbital space tourism missions taken by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos as it goes beyond traveling just a few minutes in a weightless environment.
While the rocket is scheduled to take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the space agency themselves will be bystanders to this mission which will send the first fully commercial spaceflight to orbit the earth.
After three days, the crew will reenter the atmosphere. They're expected to land in the Atlantic Ocean around Florida, where the SpaceX recovery teams will meet up with the capsule and bring the crew to shore.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.