The crew of the Inspiration4, the first-ever civilian airspace mission, is orbiting safely around Earth, SpaceX informed through Twitter on Wednesday.
According to SpaceX, the Inspiration4 crew is at least 366 miles above Earth and another 100 miles higher than the International Space Station. At their current altitude, the civilian spacecraft is farther than most trained astronauts have managed to go since NASA’s Apollo program in the 1970s. However, SpaceX has revealed very little about the day the Inspiration4 crew spent away in space.
SpaceX posted on Twitter that the crew members are “healthy, happy and resting comfortably,” and that they did their first round of scientific research. Later SpaceX informed on its Twitter handle that the crew had eaten their meals twice and were sleeping.
The Inspiration 4 Mission which includes four civilian astronauts completed 15 orbits around Earth on the first day of its three-day mission in outer space. Elon Musk later said that he spoke to the astronauts and that everything was going well. He added in a statement, "Missions like Inspiration4 help advance spaceflight to enable ultimately anyone to go to orbit & beyond." One of the four astronauts of Inspiration 4, Jared Isaacman, the billionaire CEO of Shift4 Payments, became the first person to place a bet from space as he placed his money on two bets on an NFL fixture.
Concerns about spacecraft's high altitude
Many scientists and experts across the globe were worried about the unusual altitude of the spacecraft and said that it could be dangerous or overwhelming for the pilots to control. SpaceX, however, confirmed that everything was normal and there weren't any problems. Andy Tran, an official from SpaceX said at a live stream while covering the spacecraft, “They’re going to be higher than the International Space Station, higher than the Hubble Telescope, honestly higher than any humans other than those who went to the moon.”
The moon is approximately 240,000 miles from Earth and since the famous Apollo 17 returned in 1972, no other spacecraft with humans have travelled more than 400 miles away from the planet. Apart from NASA’s Artemis program, there are no other missions scheduled to go farther than this distance any time soon.