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The Inspiration4 crew's first day in a high orbit around the Earth

The Inspiration4 crew is safely orbiting the Earth, SpaceX said Wednesday afternoon in a Twitter update. However, their orbital altitude is not as unusual as some space commentators have claimed.

Andy Tran, a SpaceX production supervisor, stated during Tuesday's livestream covering the Inspiration4 mission's launch, "They're going to be higher than the International Space Station, higher than the Hubble Telescope, and honestly higher than any humans except those who went to the moon."

This is not the case. The Inspiration4 crew has ascended to a height of 366 miles above the Earth, more than 100 miles above the International Space Station. Additionally, they are farther from the planet than the majority of astronauts who have travelled to space since NASA's Apollo program ended in the 1970s.

However, the 1990 space shuttle mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope was in an elliptical orbit that reached a maximum altitude of 386 miles above Earth. And in 1999, a mission to repair and upgrade that telescope was in a 378-mile-high orbit. Both missions' astronauts travelled farther from Earth than Inspiration4's crew members.

All of this demonstrates how inextricably linked humans have remained to their home planet since Apollo's demise. The moon is located approximately 240,000 miles from Earth. Since Apollo 17 returned in 1972, no one has travelled more than 400 miles from the planet, and that will remain the case until NASA's Artemis program launches its first crewed mission in late 2023.

Unlike NASA missions, little information about the Inspiration4 crew is available. SpaceX stated on Twitter that the crew members are "healthy, happy, and sleeping comfortably," that they have completed the first round of scientific research, and that they have eaten and slept.

Additionally, SpaceX tweeted a photograph of the glass dome atop the Crew Dragon spacecraft, although it was empty at the time.

As private space travellers and not NASA employees, the SpaceX crew has the option of veiling their activities in secrecy. Additional images and video will be shown in the mission's final episode of a Netflix documentary series. Additionally, the crew may participate in live public broadcasts from space, though no plans have been announced at this time.

Capsule Packed with Cargo and Memories

The Inspiration4 capsule is carrying a variety of items into space, which will be auctioned off upon the crew's return to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The cargo includes the ukulele that crew member Christopher Sembroski will play. Additionally, there are mission jackets, original artwork, and 66 pounds of hops that will be used in the mission's official beer by the Sam Adams brewery.

The crew is transporting a one-of-a-kind digital file, referred to as an NFT, of Kings of Leon performing their new song, "Time in Disguise," live. That, too, will be auctioned.

“We're going to jam to it in orbit,” another crew member, Hayley Arceneaux, explained.

In addition, astronauts are permitted to bring personal items into space.

Arceneaux is bringing a photo of herself at the age of ten, during her treatment for bone cancer at St. Jude's, where she now works. She wishes to suspend the image in space in order to inspire hope in her patients and other children undergoing cancer treatment.

“There is hope,” she stated. “It improves.”


Jared Isaacman, the mission's commander who is also paying for the trip, said he is bringing custom dragon pendants he made for his wife and two daughters in keeping with the Crew Dragon spacecraft's theme. He expressed hope that the memorabilia will be passed down to future generations of his family.

Sembroski is taking two pins from his mother-in-great-grandmother, law's and Sian Proctor is taking rings from her deceased father and mother. Proctor is also bringing a commemorative coin from Guam commemorating the year she was born, which her parents gave her.

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