Imagine spending your Friday afternoon in space. Well, thanks to the Inspiration4 crew, you can get a taste of what that might really be like for us ordinary folks on Earth. Inspiration4 launched up to space on Wednesday, carrying four civilians to space on a private spaceflight made possible by SpaceX.
Together, they are soaring higher than humans have flown since 2009. But since the launch, these pioneering travelers have been rather quiet, bar a tweet here and there and a heart-warming conversation with patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
But on Friday, the four passengers will be on camera and ready to talk. SpaceX announced that the crew will take time out of their mission to broadcast a livestream video from their perch 335 miles above Earth. Here’s everything you need to know about when the action starts, how to stream it for free, and what you might have missed.
Read more about the Inspiration4:
- What the crew’s interactions with Elon Musk reveal about SpaceX
- Ex-SpaceX manager says Inspiration4 is just the start
- Why it’s going to fly higher than the ISS
- Why Inspiration4 is “more challenging” than those Bezos and Branson flights
While performing several medical tests in orbit, as detailed in our Musk Reads + newsletter, this crew is also taking time to do things like play the ukulele, eat pizza, float around, and stare out the cupola module down at Earth as they orbit the planet once every 90 minutes.
As of Friday morning, the crew had completed 25 orbits.
The crew is:
- Jared Isaacman, billionaire and founder of Shift4 Payments. He funded the mission at an undisclosed price.
- Sian Proctor, a geoscientist whose father worked on the Apollo program. She is the first black woman to pilot a spacecraft.
- Hayley Arceneaux, a cancer survivor and the first person with a prosthetic limb in space.
- Christopher Sembrowksi, Air Force veteran and Lockheed Martin data engineer.
While private spaceflights have been in the news lately, this is the first commercial orbital flight for any of the insurgent American companies. It’s being closely followed by a Netflix crew led by Jason Hehir, director of The Last Dance and 24/7. (Like other recent spaceflights, though, the four won’t be considered astronauts.)
What will the livestream show?
The livestream will be a good opportunity to see inside the cupola — the glass dome atop the Dragon spacecraft where the crew is spending the trip. Arcenaux provided a small tour of the cupola on Friday morning which was posted to St. Jude’s Twitter:
The mission is serving as a fundraiser for St. Jude’s, where Arcenaux both works and once received treatment for cancer as a child.
A few other images had been posted on Twitter taken inside the craft as of Thursday night, offering more hints of what we might see today, including the stunning views of the Earth below.
How to stream the Inspiration4 mission
At 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday, the crew will begin a livestream video from space. It is unclear what the event will feature, but the Inspiration4 mission is expected to give an update on the mission and perhaps a clearer idea of when they will be returning to Earth.
The event was announced on SpaceX’s Twitter: “The @Inspiration4x crew will share a live on-orbit update about their multi-day journey aboard the Dragon spacecraft at ~5:00 p.m.”
You can watch the stream for free via SpaceX’s YouTube, which is embedded below:
If you want to see where the crew are at any time before — and after — that point, then SpaceX has a handy tracker for that on their website.
The Inspiration4 mission is currently expected to splash back down to Earth sometime Saturday evening, bringing an end to the three history-making days in space.