Wendy Whitman Cobb, Professor of Strategy and Security Studies, US Air Force Graduate School of Advanced Aerospace Studies
On September 15, 2021, the next batch of space travelers is set to take off on a SpaceX rocket.Organized and funded by entrepreneurs Jared Isaacman, NS Inspiration 4 mission Calling itself “the first all-civil mission in orbit,” it represents a new type of space travel.
The four crew members are not the first space travelers of the year.In the last few months, the world has witnessed billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos launch themselves and a few lucky people easily fly into space. Ballistic flight.. Although there are similarities between these launches and Inspiration 4, the mission is paid by one millionaire and uses a rocket created by another Elon Musk, but the difference is notable.From my point of view Space policy expert, Mission Focus on public involvement Also, the fact that Inspiration 4 puts the general public in orbit for three days is a milestone in space travel.
Why Inspiration 4 is different
The biggest difference between Inspiration 4 and flights made earlier this year is the destination.
Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic carried passengers in an orbital launch. Their vehicles only rise high enough to reach the beginning of the universe before returning to the ground after a few minutes. SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket However, the Crew Dragon Vehicle is powerful enough to get the Inspiration 4 crew into orbit, where it orbits the Earth for three days.
The four crew members are also quite different from other launches. This mission, led by Isaacman, features a slightly diverse group of people. 1 crew member, Cyan Proctor, Won a contest among people who use Isaacman’s online payment company. Another unique aspect of the mission is to raise awareness and funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of its goals.Therefore, Isaacman Haley Arseno, A doctor’s assistant at St. Jude, a survivor of childhood cancer, and participates in the launch. Last member, Christopher Sembroski, His friend won his seat when he was selected at the St. Jude Charity Raffle and offered his seat to Sembroski.
This flight is called the first “all civilian” space mission, as none of the four participants had previously been officially trained as an astronaut. Both the rocket and crew capsules are fully automated (no one on board needs to control any part of the launch or landing), but the four members are still far more than those in ballistic flight. Had to undergo a lot of training. In less than 6 months The crew We spent hours of simulator training, jet flight lessons, and centrifuges to prepare for the launch of G-force.
Social support is also an important aspect of our mission.During the flight of Bezos and Branson Criticism of Millionaire Playboy in Space, Inspiration4 tried — Results vary — To make space travel more relevant.The crew has recently appeared Time magazine cover And the subject in progress Netflix documentary..
What is the future of space travel?
Getting the crew of amateur astronauts into orbit is an important step in the development of space travel. But despite a more comprehensive sense of mission, there are still serious barriers that the average person must overcome before they can go to space.
For one thing, the cost remains quite high. Three out of four are not rich, but Isaacman is a millionaire, Paid an estimated $ 200 million Fund the trip. The need to train for such missions also means that future passengers must be able to spend a considerable amount of time preparing — many ordinary people do not have. time.
finally, The universe remains a dangerous placeAnd, whether untrained civilians or skilled professional astronauts, there is never a way to completely eliminate the danger of launching people into space.
Despite these restrictions, orbital space travel is coming. For SpaceX, Inspiration 4 is an important proof of concept that wants to further demonstrate the safety and reliability of autonomous rockets and capsule systems.Indeed, SpaceX Several tourism missions planned in the coming months, Even if the company isn’t focused on space travel. Some also include a stop at the International Space Station.
While the universe is out of reach of most people on Earth, Inspiration4 is an effort by the Billionaire Baron of the Universe to get more people involved in the journey, but otherwise exclusive activities more widely and generally. Here is an example of how to appeal.
Follow all Expert Voices issues and discussions on Facebook and Twitter and become part of the discussion. The expressed views are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.
The SpaceX Inspiration4 mission brings four people into orbit with minimal training and brings space travel closer to reality.
https://www.space.com/spacex-inspiration4-space-tourism-closer-to-reality The SpaceX Inspiration4 mission brings four people into orbit with minimal training and brings space travel closer to reality.