back to article SpaceX successfully sends four amateurs into orbit for three-day tour

SpaceX has successfully launched its first all-civilian crew into space. The only glitch in the mission, dubbed Inspiration4 as a nod to the crew and its association with a hospital that specializes in childhood cancer, was a lack of video stream from the Dragon capsule after the cover of its transparent domed cupola was …

  1. ShadowSystems

    Impressive!

    I know it was a three hour tour, but I've got the theme from Gilligan's Island running through my head for some schtoopid reason. =-Jp

    Great job, may you have many many more!

  2. Gene Cash Silver badge

    It was spectacular

    The launch was a particularly loud and bright one, to start with. You could hear windows rattle across the street, and nobody even bothers to use car alarms around here any more.

    When the stages separated, the second stage passed into the sunlight and put out a huge white oval plume, and you could see the first stage cold-gas thrusters firing, as the bursts disturbed the plume. I can't wait to see decent pictures and videos of that in the days to come.

    I even saw the reentry burn from my house, which is very unusual. This was an orange flare moving downward really fast for about 30 seconds. (edit: the YouTube lag is apparently about 17 seconds)

    There was an ISS pass at the same time, so I watched that afterwards. I caught about the last 2/3rds of that.

    The mosquitoes were swarming. I was swinging around one of those electric tennis racquets and it was snapping like a string of firecrackers.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It was spectacular

      On the stream I watched (despite an earlier posting, I did end up staying up past 0100 to watch it live :-)), the long shot cameraman stayed on the 1st stage rather than following the 2nd stage/Dragon. Watching all those cold gas thrusters going off was pretty damned amazing :-))))

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Crappy video

    Take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLVfdGO7tHw about 2hr 6m in for a poor video of it.

    It was far far better in person. That whole area was lit up white. I don't know why it doesn't show in the video.

    Edit: the entry burn afterward was a streak, not the little red dot shown. His camera is an absolute potato.

    1. tip pc Silver badge

      Re: Crappy video

      That video is no longer available

      I’m sure your camera is far superior to the potato of the other guys!

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Crappy video

      "I don't know why it doesn't show in the video."

      Because the Mk1 plasmic scanner has a different response to light levels than an electronic sensor.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Crappy video

      "It was far far better in person."

      I'm sure it was. On the other hand, flying 4200 miles to see it with my own eyes wasn't really an option, so I'll take what I can get and be awed anyway :-)

  4. John Robson Silver badge

    "On their way to space"

    Is called at 128km...

    That made me smile.

  5. sabroni Silver badge
    Facepalm

    What the fuck are you thinking?

    What the fuck?

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: What the fuck are you thinking?

      Ummm.... Care to elaborate?

      Are you objecting to the launch, the mission, the duration, or the crew of amateurs?

      1. Yes Me Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: What the fuck are you thinking?

        I don't know what's bothering the OP, but I am very bothered by the colossal and utterly pointless carbon dioxide emission from this, and any other, vanity space flight. I can't think of a worse thing for the planet that is completely unnecessary, except various acts of war.

        Spoilsport, do you say? Yes, this is a "sport" that should not be allowed.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: What the fuck are you thinking?

          "colossal and utterly pointless carbon dioxide emission from this, and any other, vanity space flight"

          Whilst this was a flight done entirely by non agency astronauts, they were doing serious research, including some for NASA. This is after all the highest altitude people have flown since the hubble repair mission (and that only by a few km) many years back.

          So it's hardly comparable with the vanity sub orbital hops that have recently grabbed headlines.

          The "colossal" carbon emissions equate to 50-75 tons/person.

          "A reasonable estimate for aviation CO2 emissions is therefore 250 kg i.e. 1/4 tonne CO2 equivalent per hour flying". https://www.carbonindependent.org/22.html

          So that's ~400 hours flying, or forty seats going across the Atlantic (my US jaunts are ~10 hours flying time).

          That's surprisingly little in the grand scheme of things, yes it's a lot for one person - but they are at least doing something useful whilst in orbit.

          Second link:

          https://www.treehugger.com/spacex-launch-puts-out-much-co-flying-people-across-atlantic-4857958

  6. TheProf Silver badge
    Unhappy

    That's ruined it

    That's ruined all the excitement of rocket launches for me.

    What was with the 'Nebraska's Got Talent' audience applauding and cheering at random points though the video?

    And astronauts with nothing to do but thumbs-up at the camera? Give them 'Hi Mom!' signs to wave a least.

    Also worst-spacesuit-design-ever. Low budget TV movie white suits and black wellies?

    (Glad those who saw it live enjoyed it. I saw a Shuttle launch and it's still the most awesome thing I've seen.)

    1. Omnipresent

      Re: That's ruined it

      It's supposed to be low budget. That's the whole point is to make it cheaper, so thrill seekers hoping for infamy can afford to shoot themselves into space on one of Musk's home made rockets.

      God Speed, I'll be watching from the couch with a beer when everything blue screens on you.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: That's ruined it

      I'm hoping that SpaceX equip their crews and passengers with something better than wellies. Plus, as any fule know, wellies should be green.

      1. Lon24 Silver badge

        Re: That's ruined it

        Depends where you plan to land. Land: green, water: yellow (so you can still be spotted when your turm turtle ...). Oh and red if it's Texas. Not land or water but must be a myth with a governor that makes Boris seem almost sensible.

    3. cmdrklarg

      Re: That's ruined it

      The cheering came from SpaceX employees gathered to watch the launch. If you watch earlier launches of Falcon 9s and the Heavy you will hear a lot of the same cheering.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: That's ruined it

        The cheering came from SpaceX employees gathered to watch the launch. If you watch earlier launches of Falcon 9s and the Heavy you will hear a lot of the same cheering.

        I've wondered about that in the past. Were they told to be there and cheer on cue or did they show up on their own. It almost sounded like someone waved a flag saying "cheer now"... rather inconsistent.

  7. Tessier-Ashpool

    Wow!

    Really exciting stuff. That's proper space travel.

    The glowing white hot engine was pretty impressive.

    I go stir crazy after a 12 hour long haul flight, so God only knows how I'd fare stuck in that capsule for 3 days.

    Question: was the crew put on a special diet for the past few days? I imagine the toilet facilities in there are rather limited.

    1. Omnipresent

      Re: Wow!

      knowing Musk, the crew was all chosen because they want to boink each other in weightlessness for three days. He probably included some magic mushies in the glove compartment.

    2. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      Re: Wow!

      There is a toilet. We don't know much about how it works but we do know it's on the ceiling, as is the big window. The cupola is next to the crapola.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Game, Set and Match!

    Without any real fuss, and without sniping at anyone else SpaceX has just wiped the board clean.

  9. NerryTutkins

    credit where is due

    That billionaire dude who donated three seats to worthy recipients... what a guy.

    If I was going to be floating around in a metal can for three days, those three seats would be taken by a blonde, brunette and maybe a pot-luck to make things interesting.

    He's a better man than me.

  10. awavey

    Not amateurs...

    ...but just civilians, not in the employ of the government or the military, they still trained for months for this mission, had to learn the procedures, the emergency drills, do the simulator training and will be carrying out experiments that contribute to human knowledge of space, just go watch the Netflix series on it.

    To label them as "amateurs" simply for not being paid to do this as a job, is as bad as the sniping between Blue Origin & Virgin imo.

    Call them commercial astronauts, call them private astronauts even call them citizen astronauts if you must, just dont call them amateurs.

    1. Ken G

      Re: Not amateurs...

      Yeah, Jared Isaacman not only funded it but he's a pilot with a jet display team, like an amateur Red Arrows. I know those skills won't be needed but they aren't needed from a military pilot in a Soyuz either.

  11. Rich 10

    As someone old enough to remember looking at the moon during the first landing and thinking that there were actually people up their - to see 4 "everyday astronauts" get 3 days in orbit is a part of history that I thought would come much sooner - time to start building the Bigelow hotels.

  12. Scene it all

    But with no followup coverage, or pictures, except for ONE TWEET, it might as well never have happened. A complete waste of time and resources.

    1. Ken G
      Paris Hilton

      What level of coverage would have made it worthwhile for you?

    2. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      I find it refreshing that they spent time enjoying the moment rather than ego-vomiting all over Twittagram.

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