Skip to main content

SpaceX Inspiration4 civilian crew land safely off Florida coast

SpaceX’s first all-civilian crew has splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean following a three-day trip to orbit. The four members of the space tourism crew are healthy and well and their mission has surpassed its fundraising goal for research into childhood cancer.

The Inspiration4 mission aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon splashed down off the coast of Florida at 7:06 p.m. ET (4:06 p.m. PT) on Saturday, September 18, from where the crew was collected by a recovery vessel and brought back to dry land. The Dragon vehicle was also collected by the recovery ship Go Searcher and will be transported back to Cape Canaveral for inspection and future reuse.

The Inspiration4 crew splashes down safely in the Atlantic. Four parachutes are deployed and two rescue boats are traveling to the spacecraft.
The Inspiration4 crew splashed down safely off the coast of Florida at 7:06 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 18. Inspiration4 / SpaceX

The mission, launched on Wednesday, September 15, has attracted considerable interest for its crew who are not professional astronauts. The crew consists of billionaire CEO Jared Issacman who paid for the trip and commanded the mission, plus physician and childhood cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, geologist and entrepreneur Sian Proctor, and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski.

One of the aims of the mission was to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a pediatric cancer research hospital where Arceneaux works. The goal was to raise $200 million; a feat which was achieved yesterday with the help of a $50 million pledge from SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.

In addition to fundraising, according to SpaceX the mission also achieved several historical firsts. As well as being the first all-civilian crew to fly in orbit, these markers include Proctor being the first Black female spacecraft pilot, Arceneaux being the youngest American to fly in space and the first person to fly to space with a prosthetic (she has a rod in her leg from treatment for her childhood cancer), and the Dragon spacecraft having the largest contiguous window ever flown in space.

Splashdown! Welcome back to planet Earth, @Inspiration4x!

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 18, 2021

If you missed watching the splashdown as it happened, you can still view the footage by heading to SpaceX’s YouTube channel where the two-hour splashdown stream is still available to view. And for even more about the mission, including information about how the crew trained for their trip and planned interviews with them now they are home, there is a Netflix documentary series all about the mission.

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
SpaceX shares awesome rocket imagery from Starship flight
A view of Earth captured from SpaceX's Starship spacecraft.

SpaceX’s third Starship test flight last Thursday was its best yet, far exceeding the first two missions, which took place last year and ended in huge fireballs just a few minutes in.

This time, the Starship -- comprising the first-stage Super Heavy booster and upper-stage Starship spacecraft -- kept on flying, with both parts reaching their destination points before breaking up on descent.

Read more
Watch SpaceX’s Starship burn brightly as it hurtles toward Earth
SpaceX's Starship reentering Earth's atmosphere.

SpaceX surprised a lot of people on Thursday morning when its mighty Starship rocket managed not to blow up seconds after liftoff.

The Starship -- comprising the first-stage Super Heavy booster and upper-stage Starship spacecraft -- enjoyed its most successful test flight yet following two short-lived missions in April and November last year.

Read more
SpaceX’s Starship reaches orbit on third test flight
spacex starship third test flight screenshot 2024 03 14 143605

SpaceX's mighty Starship rocket has made it into space on its third test flight. The rocket, launched at 9:25 a.m. ET today, March 14, took to the skies over the Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, and made it to orbit but was lost before the planned splashdown in the India Ocean.

The vehicle consists of the lower section, the Super Heavy booster, and the upper section, the Starship or ship. The two were stacked together ahead of today's flight and achieved separation a few minutes after launch. This tricky maneuver involves cutting off most of the booster's 33 Raptor engines and disengaging clamps connecting the booster to the ship. The ship then fires its own engines to head onward into orbit.

Read more