SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule carrying four private citizen astronauts splashed down Saturday, completing the historic Inspiration4 mission.
Over the years, SpaceX has proven the reliability and reusability of its Falcon9 rocket. In the past year, the company has also been successful in carrying humans into space. SpaceX has now returned astronauts from space three times.
Video from SpaceX shows the capsule being carried back to Earch via a parachute. After the capsule splashed down, it took SpaceX about an hour to bring it aboard a recovery boat.
The Inspiration4 crew waved and gave thumbs up after disembarking.
SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk sent congratulations to the Inspiration4 team on Twitter.
The mission was a collaboration between SpaceX and billionaire software entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who purchased the seats on Crew Dragon to raise awareness and funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The fee for the flight was not disclosed.
The citizen astronauts selected for Inspiration4 are Haley Arceneaux, who was treated at St. Jude and now works at the hospital; Isaacman; geologist Sian Proctor; and Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq. During the mission, the crew circled the Earth at a rate of 15 orbits per day.
Incredibly, SpaceX has brought about a new era for space travel. The ability for private citizens to buy a ticket on a rocket is a massive achievement. And the company has indicated that there’s demand for future flights with private citizens.