The Inspiration 4 mission, the first to take to space tourists without professional crew, landed successfully, in the sea of the Florida, United States, after orbiting for three days at about 580 kilometers from Earth.
The ship landed in the sea at 20.10 on Saturday (Argentine time) and could be seen by the transmission who made a YouTube channel live.
The Dragon capsule withstood the dizzying descent thanks to its heat shield and was then slowed down by huge parachutes.
A SpaceX spacecraft recovered the capsule before the hatch was opened and the passengers could finally get out.
They were then airlifted to the Kennedy Space Center, from where they had taken off in a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday night.
“It was an extraordinary journey for us, and it’s just beginning,” said the onboard commander, billionaire Jared Isaacman, shortly after landing.
Elon Musk en Twitter
“Congratulations,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter. After three days in orbit, Dragon and the crew of Inspiration 4, from SpaceX, completed the first space mission that also had a beneficial purpose for Saint Jude Children’s Hospital.
On Wednesday, Inspiration 4 departed from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States, aboard the Dragon capsule, powered by the Falcon 9 rocket.
Unlike its competitors, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, this mission did not take just a few minutes but lasted tthree days the crewmen circled the earth with no help other than the six-month training they received before leaving.
Isaacman, 38, funded the trip with the goal of raising $ 200 million for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, a center specializing in the research and treatment of children with leukemia and other cancers, located in Memphis.
The price you paid Isaacman to SpaceX was not disclosed, but it is estimated that each square costs about 50 million dollars. He is the commander on board and offered the other three seats to strangers, chosen from donors to St. Jude Children’s.
One of them is Hayley Arcenaux, a hospital physician assistant and childhood bone cancer survivor. 29-year-old Arcenaux turned out to be the youngest American woman to orbit Earth and the first person with a prosthesis to do so as she has a femur implanted in one of her legs.
Also traveledChris Sembroski, 42-year-old data engineer and former U.S. Air Force military man, and Sian Proctor, 51, geoscientist, science communicator and artist.
Once in orbit, they collected data (such as their heart rate, sleep, blood oxygen saturation, cognitive abilities, etc.) that should help better understand the effect of the space environment on beginners.
Tom Cruise, pizza and a ukelele
They also enjoyed the view through a new observation dome installed in Dragon, they were able to speak with the actor Tom Cruise from the ship, ate pizza and reveled in weightlessness to the beat of the music.
Inside the ship were several items, including a ukulele that Chris Sembroski played live on Friday and that will be auctioned for the benefit of the hospital.
It is the third space experience that Elon Musk’s company, which in a few years became a giant in the sector. In previous missions for NASA, six astronauts had already experienced a splashdown aboard the same spacecraft, after a stay on the ISS. The mission started from the mythical platform 39 of the Kennedy Space Center, the same one where Apollo XI was launched in 1969.