Four amateur astronauts in SpaceX's Inspiration4 crew successfully return to Earth after three days

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 12:50 pm
Four amateur astronauts successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after three days in space (Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Four amateur astronauts successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after three days in space.

The Inspiration4 crew left on a SpaceX capsule from Florida on Wednesday (15 September) and landed off the state's coast after 7pm local time on Saturday (18 September).

They are the first private, all-civilian team ever to orbit the Earth.

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This comes after Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos also recently went above the Earth's atmosphere in their own space vehicles.

The Inspiration4 team was led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, 38, who is chief executive of the e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc.

Isaacman paid an undisclosed sum to fellow billionaire Elon Musk for all four seats aboard the Crew Dragon.

He was joined by three strangers he had selected, including geoscientist and former Nasa astronaut candidate Sian Proctor, 51; physician assistant and childhood bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, 29; and aerospace data engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski, 42.

Mr Isaacman radioed shortly after landing, saying: "That was a heck of a ride for us. We're just getting started."

The trip marks the third time Elon Musk's company has taken people to space and back.

After the recent landing, Musk tweeted: "Congratulations @Inspiration4x !!!"

Mission director Todd Ericson told a press conference: "Welcome to the second space age.”

He added that after this trip "space travel becomes much more accessible to average men and women."