The four private astronauts of SpaceX’s Inspiration4 crew have shared their first snapshots from their historic first-ever all-civilian space trip and they look thrilled.
The images, released in the wee hours of Friday (Sept. 17) via the Inspiration4 mission’s Twitter account, appear to be video stills that show the four private astronauts smiling inside the capsule while enjoying stunning views from a huge new dome window that SpaceX fitted to their Crew Dragon capsule in place of the usual docking port required for space station-bound spacecraft. The images are the first glimpses of the Inspiration4 crew’s life in space since their launch into orbit Wednesday night (Sept. 15).
“The crew of Inspiration4 had an incredible first day in space!” Inspiration4 representatives wrote on Twitter. “They’ve completed more than 15 orbits around planet Earth since liftoff and made full use of the Dragon cupola.”
Unlike a traditional spaceflight by NASA, which typically includes constant video coverage from inside the spacecraft, SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight is a private affair financed by its commander, billionaire tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman. Its crew can decide how much (or how little) to share of their experience in space as it happens. The Inspiration4 mission is also working with Time Studios and Netflix on a documentary about the flight, the final episode of which will air later this month and likely feature footage from the flight.
The public had to wait for the first glimpse of the crew during their flight for more than a day after its launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The long silence spurred some speculation on social media that the mission might have hit problems. On Thursday, SpaceX representatives shared a series of Twitter updates stating the crew was healthy and had spent the rest of their launch day performing experiments and having a few meals. SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk also made an attempt to calm down the speculations nine hours before the images were eventually released.
“Just spoke with @inspiration4x crew. All is well,” Musk tweeted Thursday afternoon.
The Inspiration4 team has since shared more details of what the crew have been up to during the first day of their planned three-day trip.
In addition to gazing outside Crew Dragon’s domed cupola, the crew also spoke to cancer patients treated at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which is the main benefactor of multiple fundraising…