By: April Carson
The all-amateur crew were the first to circle Earth without a professional astronaut. The splashdown occurred off the Florida coast, not far from where their chartered flight began three days earlier.
This SpaceX capsule descended with an elegant arc into ocean's depths before ending its historic mission of exploration in splendor at sunset on Saturday evening when they became just another part our world that no longer exists - debris floating somewhere out there among endless stretches devoid any life or human touch.
The three former astronauts, all but forgotten now by the American public after a once-in-a-generation media event has become just another moment in history, were snapped by photographers as their capsule gently descended into the sea to end their mission around 240 miles from where it had begun three days before. The SpaceX spaceship was carrying five tons of food and supplies to the station, but its mission was not just to carry supplies.
The three guests on board billionaire Elon Musk's rocket were the first people to blast into orbit and back in history. The company’s founder, SpaceX took them up as tourists so ordinary folks could experience what it feels like at takeoff without any risk of death or injury.
In actual fact, the real difference in their experience from a regular journey to space was that they were cut off from Earth for a lot longer. Pre-launch training and a visit to the ISS is not something you can do in a day. That’s why what Elon Musk did was quite possible because it's just enough time to learn how to deal with everything that goes on in space.
"It's been an exciting journey so far," said trip sponsor Jared Isaacman. "Just getting started!" he added, referring to the growing number of private flights on the horizon as SpaceX continues its increase in efficiency with fully automated Dragon capsules reaching higher altitudes than any other craft before them at 363 miles (585 kilometers).
The passengers were able enjoy views from space without worry about ISS astronauts taking over their seats by watching out through a big bubble-shaped window attached top their capsule--a novel design that was made possible because every single
part has already been flight tested!
The four streaked back through the atmosphere early Saturday evening, ending their flight in a splashdown near Cape Canaveral. SpaceX's two previous crewed missions were carried out over water: Apollo 9 was NASA’s first space traveler to end his or her trip outside of Gulf States airspace and landing on land proved more difficult than expected for Soyuz TMA-19M when it returned from International Space Station orbit last July 26th.
To see their loved ones, the families of NASA employees lined up beside the launchpad. It was a bittersweet moment for these proud individuals who had worked so hard to make history by launching humans into space back when this place hosted big missions from Gemini and Apollo programs which ultimately led them on an exciting journey with Today’s Rocketman: Elon Musk- SpaceX CEO.
Isaacman, 38-year old entrepreneur and accomplished pilot aimed to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis after self donating 100 of his own money. He held a lottery where one could be chosen out four seats at random that are guaranteed spots on the plane thanks to Elon Musk's 50 Million dollar donation which allowed them pass without competition!!
Arceneaux, 29, a St. Jude physician assistant who was treated at the Memphis, Tennessee hospital nearly two decades ago for bone cancer, and contest winners Chris Sembroski, 42, a data engineer in Everett Washington , and Sian Proctor were also on the flight.
The four spent six months training and preparing for possible emergencies during the flight, but there was no need to intervene when they returned in March. They had time to speak with St. Jude patients, perform medical tests on themselves, ring the New York Stock Exchange closing bell, and play some ukulele while on their journey dubbed Inspiration4.
Arceneaux, the youngest American in space and first with a prosthesis assured her patients that she was just like them going through cancer treatment. She also took calls from Tom Cruise who is interested in his own SpaceX flight to NASA for filming as well U2′s Bono! The band has even been known to order some food from their menu - Cold pizza alongside sandwiches or pasta Bolognese along side Mediterranean lamb if they're feeling adventurous enough on Earth cuisine, or just want to celebrate with a little bit of their favorite foods.
591 people have gone into space or its outskirts, according to the 60-year scorecard — and it is anticipated to rise as space tourism takes off.