Inspiration4 — A Leap Towards a New Future of Space Exploration

Inspiration4 Crew (Image Source)

2021 was a year that presented us with a lot of technological improvements. One of the industries which was heavily worked on during 2021 was the space exploration industry. Leading companies such as NASA and SpaceX worked on inspiring projects that are pushing the boundaries of exploring the world beyond the blue skies of Earth. A notable example of an ambitious space project in 2021 was Inspiration4. This project was a pioneer for private space companies and pushing the next frontier of space tourism. Throughout this article I will dive deeper into talking more about why this project is important, how it was carried out and other important subsections!

What is Inspiration4?

Inspiration4 was a very meaningful full crewed space flight. The intention behind this launch was to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Inspiration4 launch was a full privately funded mission to go to Earth’s orbit. The trip was funded by Jared Isaacman, a billionaire who is an American businessman, a pilot, and also a commercial astronaut. A privately funded trip to space correlates that no government funding was provided. NASA is a publicly funded space company in which the government allocates 1 billion dollars to give to the space exploration company. This trip was paid for by Jared Isaacman as a way to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. They were in orbit for 3 days before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and splashing down. This flight was to raise awareness about the Children’s hospital and for the hope for people to raise funds and donate to change the lives of these children. While the trip was funded by Isaac Jaredman, the rocket and astronaut capsule were provided by SpaceX.

Why was this launch mission created in the first place?

Jared Isaacman (Source)

As mentioned earlier in this article, this mission was executed by SpaceX although the one who came up with the idea was Jared Isaacman. He wanted to show the possibilities of space exploration in the future with companies enabling anyone to go into space even if they haven’t trained and to raise awareness regarding the St. Jude Children’s Research hospital to push the boundaries of research being done to help change the lives of the children by eradicating some of the world’s most pressing health problems. It was Isaacman’s dream to go into space ever since kindergarten and when he had the chance to buy 4 seats on the Dragon capsule by SpaceX, he didn’t hesitate. One of the passengers with him was someone who went through treatment at St Jude Children’s Hospital when they were a child.

Where did the crew launch?

Dragon Capsule in which SpaceX’s astronauts travel in (Source)

Each member of the crew took part in a seat, those being things such as generosity and prosperity, etc. These seats represented the goal of the launch and their passion for the mission to raise funds. The crew had launched from Cape Canaveral on SpaceX’s launch pad there. With many launch pads around the world, SpaceX had chosen that one due to the specific desired spot of splashdown and also our trajectory and orbit would affect the flight.

Who were the people involved in the Inspiration4 mission?

There were many people involved with this mission, the most noteworthy being Jared Isaacman who was the one who manifested this mission in the first place and was the commander of the Dragon capsule on the flight. The other people on the flight were : Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux, and Christopher Sembroski. Other notable people involved in the launch would’ve been people who helped manufacture the rocket, the capsule, the preparation team, the command center SpaceX employees, and various other individuals. There was a lot of work put in to make this possible and to show that there has been so much improvement in space exploration and how much room there is for innovation!

What was the date of the launch and how was the launch executed?

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket (Source)

Launching a rocket isn’t something new for SpaceX, with over 130 launches, and most going to plain, the Falcon 9 is a safe rocket. The date Inspiration4 launched was September 15th, 2021. The Falcon 9 rocket, the one used for this mission uses SpaceX’s own Merlin engines. They yield high thrust for a sea-level engine and also produce decent Isp (the efficiency of a rocket engine). The fuel used in the Falcon 9 is RP-1, rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen in which combusts in a combustion chamber to produce exhaust which propels the rocket. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule was used for the people on the Inspiration4 crew. With many tests and variations of the Dragon capsule, it is a very safe and modern capsule with advantages over capsules that Boeing and Nasa produce!

Why talk about something like this?

(Source)

This story is worth reporting because of the improvements being made in space exploration. This mission showed that anyone can go into space, they don’t have to be a trained astronaut. This is pushing an era of space tourism and safer travel into space by building more effective rockets with higher Isp. This also showed that dreams do come true. It was Jared Isaacman’s dream to go into space and he accomplished that with hard work and passion. Just consistently strive and work on what you’re passionate about, spend your life the way you want!

Conclusion 🚀

I really appreciate you fully reading this article, I hope you learned a lot about space exploration and the Inspiration4 launch. It was truly a step in the right direction towards commercializing space exploration. There are so many other topics in space exploration such as nuclear and antimatter propulsion, genetically editing astronauts for Mars missions and so much more! Leading companies are striving to achieve their ambitious goals. 2021 was a year full of hard work and innovation with so much more to come in the following years.

— Siddhant

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