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SpaceX’s all-civilian crew sends views from space after successful Inspiration4 launch

The crew aboard SpaceX's flight is composed of all civilians. (SpaceX)

Elon Musk is holding true to his promise to make space tourism accessible. The world's first all-civilian space mission made history yesterday evening when SpaceX launched the Inspiration4 crew into orbit at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida.

In a spacecraft fashioned from a used Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket, the Inspiration4 crew will remain in space for three days, where they will perform medical experiments, before touching back down to the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 18.

The spacecraft lifted off around 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The team was quick to share the wonder with a video of the blue planet from the ship's cupola window.

Who's on the crew?

Jared Isaacman

Serving as the mission commander, Isaacman is a tech entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments. The billionaire financed the trip.

Sian Proctor

A geoscientist, science communicator and actress, Proctor is the mission's pilot.

Hayley Arceneaux

Bone cancer survivor, physician assistant for St. Jude's and now the youngest American to make it to space at 29, Arceneaux is the chief medical officer.

Chris Sembroski

The team's mission specialist, Sembroski is a data engineer and an Air Force Veteran.

While drawing from experiences from professional crews prior, the four members of Inspiration4 will be tested for balance and perception both before and after to compare the tests, a common practice for professional astronauts.

Data about the crew's "movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, cabin noise and light intensity" will be monitored while they're in space, according to a release, and will continue to be monitored even after they land. Since fewer than 600 people have been to space before, this data is scare and highly valuable to SpaceX and others who wish to plunge deeper into the vastness of the cosmos.

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said she is proud to be "paving the way for a future where space is more accessible" in a statement.

"We are so proud that they entrusted us to fly them," Shotwell said. "On behalf of all SpaceX employees, I want to thank the crew and their families for allowing us to be a part of their historic mission."


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