A quartet of newly minted citizen astronauts comprising the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission safely splashed down In the Atlantic off Florida’s coast on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever launched into Earth’s orbit.
SpaceX’s crew dragon capsule, dubbed Resilience, parachuted into the sea around 7 p.m. EDT, shortly before sunset, after an automated re-entry descent, SpaceX said.
The return from orbit followed a plunge through Earth’s atmosphere generating frictional heat that sent temperatures surrounding the outside of the capsule soaring to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,927 degrees Celsius).
The Inspiration4 team, led by its wealthy benefactor, Jared Isaacman, chief executive of the e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc., blasted off on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral atop one of SpaceX’s two-stage reusable Falcon 9 rockets.
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