A SpaceX rocket soared into orbit Wednesday night, September 15, carrying four people none of whom are professional astronauts, in the first-ever mission to Earth’s orbit with crew entirely made up of tourists.
The team of tourists include a billionaire who funded the mission, a cancer survivor, a community college teacher and a Lockheed Martin employee.
The launch pad was located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
As engines fired up just after 8 pm ET, the spaceship soared into the upper atmosphere and made a dramatic, ghostly light show overhead.
After reaching a speed of more than 17,000 miles per hour the capsule carrying the four passengers detached from the rocket and began to maneuver toward its intended orbit.
The crew will remain aboard their capsule for three days as it flies through orbit once every 90 minutes, traveling at more than 17,500 miles per hour, while the passengers float and take in panoramic views of Earth before returning for a splashdown landing off the coast of Florida on Saturday.
See videos below.
View from Dragon’s cupola pic.twitter.com/Z2qwKZR2lK
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 16, 2021
Crew send off before they make their way to Launch Complex 39A pic.twitter.com/pa5pXaAdNm
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 15, 2021