How about flying into space and enjoying a 360-degree view of our planet and its surroundings? It will soon be possible with SpaceX.
An exceptional point of view
One of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules, tasked with flying four civilians into space as part of the Inspiration4 mission, will be upgraded. A glass dome will indeed be added to the top to give tourists space. a 360-degree view of the cosmos. These plans were announced Tuesday during the official presentation of the mission team.
On D-Day, probably next September, the capsule and its occupants will circle the Earth several times at approximately 570 km altitude for three days. This new glass dome will therefore replace the ship’s docking adapter, since the latter is not expected to be attached to the ISS.
The Crew Dragon’s protective aerodynamic nose should then be able to open, exposing the dome once the ship is in orbit. Based on the illustration tweeted by SpaceX, this observation dome will only accommodate one crew member at a time.
NASA, which certified Crew Dragon for astronaut flights last year, said it did not plan to use this cupola version of the Crew Dragon for its own missions. Also the agency “Does not need to approve SpaceX’s design for corporate private missions”, said spokesperson Josh Finch.
Probably the most “in space” you could feel while being in a glass dome https://t.co/SOAIzxVGgX
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
Four civilians in space
Note that the ship affected by these transformations is none other than the Crew Dragon Resilience capsule. It is currently docked to the ISS to support the Mission Crew-1 from NASA. Its glass dome will be installed during its renovation in Florida after its return to Earth scheduled for April.
Regarding the crew, one of the seats will obviously be reserved for Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, who is behind this mission. A second seat, as we have known for several weeks, has been allocated to Hayley Arceneaux, one of the employees of the St Jude children’s research hospital in Memphis. She will become the youngest American to fly in space.
The other two crew members are Sian Proctor, 51, a professor at the Community University of Tempe, Arizona, and Christopher Sembroski, 41, from Everett, Washington. The latter works on data engineering for the Lockheed Martin company.
Together, they will therefore be the first civilians unaccompanied by a professional astronaut to fly to space.