Inspiration 4, SpaceX’s all-civilian mission, is in orbit, less than an hour from launch.
The launch window opens on Thursday mornings at 1 a.m. UK time or 8 a.m. local Eastern time. It remains open for five hours, which means it will be delayed if the team cannot fit into that window.
SpaceX has provided a live stream of the launch, which can be found at the top of this page.
After launch, the team will fly higher into orbit than any human since the Space Shuttle, spend three days in space conducting experiments and experience Earth at a distance. Then they would fall back to Earth, landing in the ocean for a splashdown.
If the mission is successful, it will be a major step forward for space tourism and for Elon Musk and SpaceX’s plans to make it accessible with funding to put a rocket and spacecraft into orbit.
T-minus 15 minutes
Just 900 seconds to go…
SpaceX Inspiration 4 system investigation continues
Skies are dark over Florida, with only 20 minutes left until launch.
Testing of the system continues, as the propellant has been loaded into the Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX Launch Escape System Armed
The launch escape system has been armed as per procedure.
It’s a reminder that there are still risks during launch. By far the most dangerous parts of any space mission are the launch and landing.
Successes are far more common than failures these days, but they are not sure. We’ve put together some graphics showing how orbital launch rate is back on the ascendant after the Space Race dip.
And also how orbital launch success rates have changed since the 1950s.
Crew Access Arm Pulls Away
A major moment in the launch countdown, as the Crew Access Arm is pulled away from the Crew Dragon capsule.
The next step is propellant loading.
T-minus 1 hour!
Just 60 minutes to go until the lift stops. It’s going to feel like more than 60 hours for the Inspiration 4 crew members.
Inspire4 crew members reveal their personal items
The team of Inspiration4 has revealed what personal items they are taking with them in space.
These are all pins and rings and other family heirlooms, plus Hayley Arsinaux, who is taking a picture of herself.
But it is not as narcissistic as it sounds, in fact quite the opposite. The photos are from when she was 10 years old, when she went completely bald during chemotherapy treatment for bone cancer.
She wants to take the picture above with all her hair floating in zero gravity into space to keep it up. She says she hopes pediatric cancer patients will find hope in the hospital she works at.
SpaceX launch time set for 2 minutes after window opens
SpaceX has officially set the launch time for 8.02 a.m. EST — just 2 minutes after the five-hour launch window opens.
That’s just 80 minutes away.
SpaceX Inspiration 4 launch ‘on time’
Everything still looks good for launch, which is now just over 90 minutes away.
“We are moving towards T-zero in time,” SpaceX says.
Here’s a reminder of just how high the Inspiration4 crew is really going today.
No human has been higher than those who have been to the Moon.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Hatch Closed
The hatch door of the Crew Dragon capsule has been locked.
We are now less than two hours away from the scheduled launch time.
SpaceX Fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Since the live stream began two hours ago, SpaceX’s fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital has raised more than $100,000.
More than $100 million of the $200 million target had already been raised before the stream began via a raffle for Christopher Sambrowski’s seat, along with donations from crew commander Jared Isaacman.
You can find out more about this campaign and how to donate here:
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /