The four SpaceX passengers return to Earth after three days in space

Updated:19/09/2021 11:48h


The four SpaceX space tourists landed in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday night after three days in space, successfully completing the first orbital mission in history without a professional astronaut on board.

The Dragon capsule withstood the dizzying descent thanks to its heat shield and was then stopped by four huge parachutes.

The splashdown occurred as planned, shortly after 11:00 p.m. GMT (7:00 p.m. on the east coast of the United States), according to a video released by Elon Musk’s company.

A SpaceX spacecraft had to retrieve the capsule before the hatch opened and the passengers could finally exit.

Next, will be airlifted to the Kennedy Space Center, from where they took off in a Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday night.

“It has been an extraordinary journey for us, and it has only just begun,” said the commander on board, billionaire Jared Isaacman, shortly after the splashdown.

Democratization of space

The stated objective of the mission, dubbed Inspiration4, was to mark a point of inflection in the democratization of space, proving that the Cosmos is also accessible to crews that have not been selected and trained for years.

The four rookies – Jared Isaacman, who chartered the mission, and three other Americans – spent three days orbiting Earth, farther than the International Space Station (ISS), 590 km above the Earth’s surface.

Orbiting at about 28,000 km / h, they went around the world more than 15 times a day.

It is the third time that Elon Musk’s company, which has become a giant in the sector in just a few years, returns human beings to Earth: in previous missions for NASA, six astronauts had already experienced a water landing on board. ship, after a stay on the ISS.

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