Elon Musk's space exploration company SpaceX is set to launch its first all-civilian mission 'Inspiration4' to space on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida's Cape Canaveral. According to the company, the five-hour window for the launch of the spacecraft will begin at 8 pm EDT.
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.
But, what is the purpose of the 'Inspiration4' mission?
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.
Once the spacecraft enters the Earth's orbit, the crew will perform research experiments that will help understanding human health and performance during spaceflight. This information can then potentially be applied for human health on Earth and during such future missions.
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."
Furthermore, during the mission crew will collect ECG activity, movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, cabin noise and light intensity.
Also, measure or assess changes in behavioural and cognitive performance. The organs of the crew will be scanned and drops of blood will be collected and tested.
Additionally, SpaceX is working with Weill Cornell Medicine researchers to conduct a longitudinal, multi-omic, cellular study of the crew. "These samples and data will be added to a planned Biobank that will hold cryogenically-frozen samples and data from the Inspiration4 mission."