SpaceX's Inspirational4 successfully launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida's Cape Canaveral on Wednesday. An all civilian crew is aboard the spacecraft, making it the first-ever orbital flight occupied entirely by tourists.
About 19 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX announced that the Dragon Capsule, which carries the four civilians, separated from the Falcon 9 rocket.
The Dragon capsule’s two men and two women are looking to spend three days circling the world from an unusually high orbit — 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the International Space Station — before splashing down off the Florida coast this weekend.
The four members of the crew are Shift4 Payments founder Jared Isaacman; physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux; Sian Proctor, who is a geoscientist, analogue astronaut and science communicator; and engineer Chris Sembroski.
The bottom part of the Falcon 9 rocket, which gave the necessary push for a liftoff, headed back to Earth after detaching from the spacecraft, which has found its place in the planet's orbit.
The bottom part is expected to land on a seafaring platform using its separate landing thrusters instead of crash landing in a water body.
As announced by SpaceX earlier in the day, the spaceflight mission to orbit will partake in a "first-of-its-kind health research initiative to increase humanity’s knowledge on the impact of spaceflight on the human body," according to an official statement from the company.
Explaining the process, the statement read: " SpaceX, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine and investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine will collect environmental and biomedical data and biological samples from Inspiration4’s four crew members before, during, and after this historic spaceflight."