SpaceX blasts first all-civilian crew into space in historic Inspiration4 mission

·1-min read

SpaceX has successfully launched the first all-civilian crew into orbit as part of the Inspiration4 mission.

The four-person crew lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, just after 8pm local time on Wednesday (1am BST, Thursday).

The Crew Dragon capsule will spend three days in space before returning to Earth and landing in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

The crew will fly higher than any humans since the Space Shuttle missions to the Moon, orbiting at roughly 575km - more than 150km higher than the International Space Station (ISS).

The Inspiration4 mission will conduct science experiments while in space, however it also marks a major milestone towards the burgeoning space tourism industry, which has drawn in competitors like Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

The mission also had an ambitious fundraising goal to raise $200 million for the St Jude Children’s Hospital. SpaceX’s live stream on YouTube raised more than $200,000 during the launch, adding to more than $100m already raised in the build-up to the launch.

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