The First All-Civilian Crew journey to Earth’s orbit is expected to splash down tonight after three days in space.
Saturday evening, just after 7 p.m. ET, the Dragon spacecraft is anticipated to return to Earth.
When it deorbits, it will be flying at 17,500 mph; when the parachute unfolds at 18,000 feet, it will decelerate to approximately 350 mph; and when it reaches the water, it will be going at around 119 mph.
SpaceX’s ideal splashdown destination is off the coast of Cape Canaveral in the Atlantic Ocean, but they are ready to pivot to the Gulf of Mexico if necessary.
Launching into space and returning home is always a risk. Despite the fact that the crew has been trained by SpaceX, they are not trained, astronauts.
It will be the third SpaceX Dragon-crewed spacecraft to splash down from orbit on Saturday, but the first without a professional astronaut on board.
The expedition is being led by billionaire and skilled pilot Jared Isaacman, 38. He created Shift4 Payments, a payment processing firm, and paid an estimated $220 million for all four tickets on the trip.
This trip was intended to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, according to Isaacman. He personally gave $100 million to help eradicate childhood cancer before the launch.
Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old St. Jude advocate, was given one of the seats. As a kid, Arceneaux was treated at St. Jude and later returned to work as a physician’s assistant there. She is the first pediatric cancer survivor and the youngest American to journey to space.
The third passenger, Dr. Sian Proctor, 51, made history by being the fourth African American woman to fly into space.
On Friday, they all talked with youngsters being treated at St. Jude in real-time from orbit.
One of the kids questioned Arceneaux, “What sort of sleeping bag do you have?”
“If you’ve ever gone camping, we have very much the identical sleeping bags,” she explained. “We were in our sleeping bags, floating on top of our seats, with a seat belt around our sleeping bags. As a result, we didn’t fly away as we slept.”
Another kid said, “Can you snap photographs in space?”
She answered, “Absolutely, we can snap photographs in space.” “And we’ve been shooting a lot of those photographs and videos so we can preserve this moment and share it with everyone when we go home,” says the narrator.
The mission has raised an extra $500,000 for the research hospital since taking off.
The crew has also been busy with studies, such as utilizing a portable ultrasound to monitor their corneas and optic nerves for intracranial pressure indications.