SpaceX broke boundaries Saturday evening as the all civilian crew of astronauts launched into Earth's atmosphere on Wednesday returned safely and landed off the east coast of Florida. The crew consisted of billionaire entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, as well as Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant; geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor; and Chris Sembroski, an aerospace data engineer.
This was a significant step for private space travel as this was the first occasion in which a space flight was conducted with no government-backed astronauts. In addition, Ms. Arceneaux was the youngest woman to travel to space as well as Dr. Proctor was marked as the first black woman to assume the role of pilot. This was also the deepest into space that American astronauts have been since the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009.
The spacecraft did have problems involving waste-management systems as well as a temperature sensor on one of the engines to go offline due to a flow of bad data. Fortunately, the sensor had backups and the flight was smooth as can be.
In the wake of this successful mission, SpaceX is looking deeper into the possibility of consistent missions involving space tourism. The company has stated that they would like to have 6 missions a year that would bring customers into space. SpaceX has not released the price of a ticket yet but considering Virgin Galactic set their price at $450,000 and Blue Origin costs $30 million for a seat, it is unclear what it would cost.
Source: New York Times