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SpaceX unveils dome on Dragon spacecraft to allow astronauts to enjoy views of Earth from orbit 

Zoom with a view! Elon Musk’s SpaceX unveils new DOME on its Dragon spacecraft to allow astronauts to enjoy stunning panoramas of Earth from orbit during first civilian flight

  • SpaceX showed off a new picture of the glass dome that astronauts on the upcoming Inspiration4 mission can view space 
  • The cupola will let the four have a panoramic view of space later this month
  • The modified Crew Dragon craft is aiming for an altitude of 335 miles
  • SpaceX will try to launch the three-day on September 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida 

SpaceX showed off a new picture of the glass dome that ordinary people will be able to view space from in its upcoming civilian Inspiration4 mission.

The window, known as a cupola, will let the four astronauts on the first all-civilian mission to orbit have a panoramic view of space in the modified Crew Dragon craft.

Those four crew members ‘visited the flight-hardware Cupola in California before it was shipped to Florida for integration with Dragon Resilience,’ Inspiration4 said in a tweet Wednesday night.

 

Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman (above) is the commander of the crew

SpaceX showed off a new picture of the glass dome that every day people will be to view space from in its upcoming Inspiration4 mission, later this month

Hayley Arceneaux will be the first bone cancer survivor to travel to space

Dr Sian 'Leo' Proctor is an explorer, geoscientist astronaut

Arceneaux was named to the team in February, while Proctor was announced in March

The four members are 29-year-old St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, pilot Dr Sian ‘Lee’ Proctor, U.S. Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski and Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman. 

An ‘accomplished jet pilot’ according to Inspiration4’s website, Isaacman, the commander of the mission, is funding the trip in a private deal made with SpaceX. 

He is also attempting to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and help it hit its $200 million funding target, half of which will come from him. 

In February, Inspiration4 aired a Super Bowl ad raising awareness for the trip and the research being done by St. Jude’s.    

Proctor and Sembroski were announced in March, while Arceneaux was named to the mission shortly after the advertisement aired in February.   

Arceneaux will be the first bone cancer survivor to travel to space. 

SpaceX is attempting to launch the Crew Dragon Resilience on September 15, from a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Unlike the flights that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos took earlier this summer, this flight from Musk's SpaceX will go into orbit

Unlike the flights that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos took earlier this summer, this flight from Musk’s SpaceX will go into orbit

The Inspiration4 mission 

Dubbed Inspiration4, the mission is designed primarily to raise awareness and support for the pediatric cancer center, which successfully treated Arceneaux for bone cancer when she was a child. 

Although this is not the first time civilians have travelled to space, it is the first mission manned solely by civilians. 

The four-person team, which will be under the command of Isaacman, will be launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on its voyage. 

Dragon will only orbit Earth for three days, completing one orbit every 90 minutes along a customized flight path as it travels at more than 17,000 miles per hour.

Its progress will be carefully monitored at every step by SpaceX mission control.

Unlike the flights that Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos took earlier this summer, this flight from Musk’s SpaceX will go into orbit. 

It is aiming for an altitude of 335 miles, 75 miles higher than the International Space Station and on a level with the Hubble Space Telescope. 

SpaceX’s other Dragon capsules have docking capabilities at the top of the nose cone to allow it to merge with the ISS.

Since Inspiration4 is not going to the ISS and staying in orbit, it allowed engineers to tweak the design.

The craft’s bathroom will also be near the cupola, with Isaacman saying in March: ‘When people do inevitably have to use the bathroom, they’re going to have one hell of a view.’

When SpaceX first showed off the glass dome in March, CEO Elon Musk said the window would give the crew the ‘probably most ‘in space’ … feel’ they could have in a glass dome. 

Dragon will only orbit Earth for three days, completing one orbit every 90 minutes along a customized flight path as it travels at more than 17,000 miles per hour.

Its progress will be carefully monitored at every step by SpaceX mission control and upon completion, the craft will reenter Earth’s atmosphere off the coast of Florida. 

The Inspiration4 crew have received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in low gravity and other forms of stress testing before traveling.

When SpaceX first showed off the glass dome in March, CEO Elon Musk said the window would give the crew the 'probably most 'in space' ... feel' they could have in a glass dome

When SpaceX first showed off the glass dome in March, CEO Elon Musk said the window would give the crew the ‘probably most ‘in space’ … feel’ they could have in a glass dome

‘There will be several months of training,’ Isaacman previously told DailyMail.com.  

Last month, Arceneaux gave details of her training, which included centrifuge training, studying and ‘spending lot of time in the simulator.’   



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk