Four space tourists successfully returned to Earth this Saturday after a pioneering trip to space: the SpaceX capsule landed in the Atlantic, off the coast of Florida shortly before dark, not far from the place where the flight started three days ago.
The inexperienced crew was the first to reach space without a professional astronaut.
The billionaire who paid an undisclosed amount of millions for the trip and his three guests wanted to show that they could reach orbit of space on their own, so SpaceX founder Elon Musk brought them in as the company’s first space tourists.
“It has been an incredible trip for us,” responded trip sponsor Jared Isaacman, referring to the number of private flights being planned.
The reusable Falcon 9 rocket lifted off last Wednesday shortly after 8:00 pm (ET) from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of 363 miles after takeoff last Wednesday.
As you pass the International Space Station by 100 miles, passengers were able to enjoy breathtaking views of the Earth through a bubble-shaped window in the top of the capsule.
The four crew members were the first space travelers to complete their Atlantic flight since Apollo 9 in 1969. The two previous landings by the SpaceX crew – carrying astronauts for NASA – were in the Gulf of Mexico.
Apart from the problems with a bathroom fan and a faulty temperature sensor, the flight went very well, as reported.
“A very clean mission from start to finish,” said Benji Reed, a SpaceX executive.
Nearly 600 people have reached space, a number that started 60 years ago and is expected to skyrocket soon as space tourism heats up.
Congratulations to the crew were swift, including from the Association of Space Explorers.
People interested in fast space travel are turning to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Both took their own rockets to the far reaches of space in July to stimulate ticket sales. Their flights lasted between 10 and 15 minutes.
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