LAKE MARY, Fla. - SpaceX launched Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission, into orbit on Wednesday.
A Dragon Crew capsule will carry its four passengers across a low earth orbit with a return to Earth planned for Saturday.
"Our crew carries the responsibility and importance of this mission as we prepare to blast off," said Inspiration4 Commander Jared Isaacman just before launch.
According to SpaceX, the spacecraft will orbit the planet every 90 minutes along a custom flight path.
Crew Dragon’s 365lbs cargo capacity will be allocated for both crew essentials as well as scientific equipment dedicated to micro-gravity research and experimentation. Inspiration4 is committed to assigning the maximum possible mass towards this valuable research, providing access to space for inspiring projects that are otherwise unable to overcome the high barriers of traditional space-based research.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS: Images capture historic SpaceX Inspiration4 launch
The crew 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.
Additionally, 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.
According to SpaceX, the Inspiration4 crew will conduct the following TRISH-sponsored research:
- Collect research-grade ECG activity, movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, cabin noise, and light intensity.
- Perform a series of tests in the Cognition app designed to assess changes in behavioral and cognitive performance. This is the same app that is currently used by astronauts in NASA-funded research studies.
- Scan organ systems via a Butterfly IQ+ Ultrasound device, which is designed with artificial intelligence guidance for non-medical experts. Data collected will determine if non-medical experts can self-acquire clinical-grade images without guidance from ground support and will provide a timeline of biological changes before and during spaceflight. This device is also currently being tested by astronauts on the International Space Station.
- Collect and test drops of blood during spaceflight for markers of immune function and inflammation using a state-of-the-art miniaturized device called the Vertical Flow Immunoassay (VFI).
- Use balance and perception tests pre-flight and immediately post-flight to measure sensorimotor adaptation during changes of gravity. These tests are currently performed by astronauts upon return from spaceflight.
- Archive, fully analyze and share resulting biomedical samples and data in collaboration with investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine and research data in an open format database to enable greater collaborative research.
Information provided by SpaceX.
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