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Inspiration4 timeline: From wakeup to orbiting Earth

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Launch window opens at 8:02 p.m. Sept. 15

A SpaceX Falcon 9, with four private citizens onboard, lifts off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39-A Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Cape Canaveral , Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. - The world is preparing to watch four non-professionals become astronauts after launching from Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday night.

Until recently NASA hadn't launched humans from Florida since 2011 but last year, thanks to Elon Musk's company SpaceX, astronauts began launching from Kennedy Space Center once again. Now, SpaceX will try to usher in a new era of human spaceflight with the Inspiration4 mission.

The crew is made up of all civilians, none of whom have undergone NASA astronaut training. Instead, billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman purchased a ride from SpaceX and through a massive fundraising campaign for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a national competition filled the other three seats on the Dragon spacecraft. The rest of the crew include St. Jude physicians assistant Hayley Arceneaux, geoscience professor Dr. Sian Proctor and aerospace engineer Chris Sembroski.



Learn more about the crew here and what sets this mission apart from other human spaceflights, even those by other private companies.

The launch window opens at 8:02 p.m. Wednesday and runs until 1:13 a.m. Thursday. The weather is currently 80% favorable for liftoff during the 5-hour window.

While the countdown and launch Wednesday may look a little similar to the recent SpaceX launches with NASA astronauts there are several differences. Below find a breakdown of the timeline to launch and what happens after the spacecraft is in orbit.


Countdown to launch (Times are estimated based on the current launch schedule)

Launch, landing and orbit

Liftoff: Generating more than 1.7 million pounds of thrust, the Falcon 9 will blast off from launchpad 39A, sending Crew Dragon and its four passengers into space.

Sian Proctor in the Crew Dragon cupola in California before it was shipped to Florida. (WKMG 2021)

The Inspiration4 mission will last three days before the Dragon splashes down off either Florida coast.

The spacecraft will reach an altitude of 575 kilometers, or 357 miles, above Earth. This altitude is above the International Space Station which orbits Earth about 260 miles above and above the Hubble Space Telescope at 335 miles.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.

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