Inspiration4 safely returns to Earth

Courtesy of AP

Jayleen Azpeitia

SpaceX’s Inspiration4 travelled 367 miles above Earth, making history as the farthest any non-astronaut civilian crew has traveled from Earth. 38-year-old billionaire and certified pilot Jared Isaacman, funded the flight with $220 million of his own money. Also on the crew was Hayley Areceneau, a physician assistant and bone cancer survivor. From space, the Inspiration4 crew spoke with actor Tom Cruise about exploring space and using the flight to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 

The Inspiration4 was 100 miles above the International Space Station, making more than 15 orbits around planet Earth. Their journey was live-streamed through video conference, where viewers could see the crew somersault in the cabin. On Twitter, Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon posted “the world is inspired by the recent entrepreneurial, exceptional, tireless efforts for the furtherance of Human SpaceFlight. I am with you in thoughts and spirit.”

After three days in space,  the Dragon capsule splashed down off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The crew gathered key medical information on how their bodies reacted to zero gravity. According to USA Today, Isaacman pledged to give $100 million to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and SpaceX owner, Elon Musk, promised an additional $50 million to St. Jude.