Mission carries first all-civilian crew back from Earth orbit
The first all-civilian crew to orbit Earth is set to splash down today somewhere off the coast of Florida.
The splashdown for the Inspiration4 mission is scheduled for 4:06 p.m. Pacific time.
The four civilians in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule have been orbiting the Earth 15 times a day since Wednesday evening. And if that isn’t enough running around, at least one crew member is putting her own spin on space exploration.
Hayley Arceneaux was caught on camera somersaulting in the capsule’s weightless environment. A YouTube video of her spinning shows her raising hands in triumph and smiling widely afterward, then going into another spin.
She’s been doing the somesaults ever since the Dragon capsule went into orbit, according to her crewmate Sian Proctor.
Ms. Arceneaux, 29, the youngest woman ever in space and a pediatric cancer survivor, is a physician’s assistant at St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital in Memphis. The mission is designed to raise $200 million for the hospital.
On Friday, the crew did a video chat with children who are patients at St. Jude’s.
The first $100 million of the fundraising goal was met by Jared Isaacman, the billionaire who’s in the Dragon capsule and funded the mission. He paid for the seats for the other civilian astronauts.
Besides the children, the SpaceX crew chatted Friday with movie star Tom Cruise, who’s known for doing his own stunts, including a HALO jump from an airplane, for his “Mission Impossible” movies. Mr. Cruise hopes to make a film in space.
And on Friday, Ms. Arceneaux held the microphone for an out-of-this-world entertainer: her crewmate Christopher Sembroski. He talked to his fans down on Earth and played a little on his ukulele.