The weather seems to cooperate and the passengers are ready to go: the first space tourists of SpaceX they were serene Tuesday as they prepared to take off on a three-day mission to orbit Earth.
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“No nerves, we are excited to get out!”American billionaire Jared Isaacman told reporters when asked about his mood at a news conference.
Behind him loomed the Falcon 9 rocket, which will carry the four-member crew, all civilians, of the Mission christened Inspiration4.
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“If there are nerves, they are the good ones”, added Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old medical assistant. “I’m very excited for tomorrow to come.”
Chris Sembroski, a 42-year Air Force veteran, even compared the extraordinary trip to space with a ride in a “camping van.”
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The launch window begins at 8:02 p.m. on Wednesday (7:02 p.m. in Peru).
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It’s not far off the mark: the inside of the Dragon capsule offers its occupants a small footprint of four by eight meters.
“You just have to wrap yourself (in the sleeping bags) so as not to float crashing into each other in the middle of the night!” joked.
They all said they got along, even though they did not know each other before they started to train only about six months ago.
Isaacman, who chartered the mission at his expense, had organized a contest to choose the other three people who would join him.
“Since the announcement, each day has been the best of my life”, said Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geology professor who will become the first African-American woman to take on the role of “Pilot” in a space flight.
Clearly excited by the occasion, she shared that she and the crew had had a phone chat with former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“We had a very pleasant conversation that will accompany me for the rest of my life”he commented.
“Right now, the weather tends to be good”, said Benji Reed, SpaceX’s chief of manned missions.
The four passengers supposedly embody the openness to space to all people and that gives the mission its name: Inspiration4.
A billionaire, Jared Isaacman, is behind the project. It was he who commissioned the mission, paid all the expenses and invited three anonymous people not based on a selection process but with a peculiar criterion: each seat will have an assigned value. In addition to him, there will be Hayley Arceneaux, cancer survivor; Sian Proctor, professor and astronaut candidate; and Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran.
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