Apart from collecting some scientific data, the Inspiration4 all space-tourist crew is currently orbiting the Earth in a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. This is the beginning of a new era for spaceflight: honest-to-God Tourism.
You can think less about scientific rigor, more sightseeing, and Las Vegas gambling. Futurism even heard from one scientist who was involved in the launch that the data might not be very useful to researchers.
Despite being trained, none of these four passengers are professional astronauts. These four private citizens are on a privately funded trip into space, funded by a generous billionaire.
This could explain why we have not seen much footage inside the Crew Dragon capsule. For example, the official Instagram account of the missions has only released one photo from orbit, and that only shows the craft dome, and not the interior.
Eric Berger, Ars Technica senior reporter for space, wrote that he has received several inquiries about the reason there aren't photos of Inspiration4 after it orbits. It is a private mission and they chose it.
Bergers' tweet could mean that the crew is refusing to release footage inside the capsule. There may be more.
Before being released, the final footage taken from the spacecraft will likely undergo a lot of scrutiny.
Berger said that families are in constant contact and that all is well. There will be events.
This is a slight departure from the past of spaceflight. This venture is not funded by the government and does not prioritize scientific rigor in furthering our knowledge of outer space.
The Inspiration4 mission shows us what space tourism can look like.
Berger stated that the video would eventually appear on Netflix. This is not NASA, people.
The fact that SpaceXs Crew Dragon was built under contract with NASA makes the whole thing even more complicated.
SpaceX and Boeing received a lot of funding under the Commercial Crew Program, which provided funding to build a new method to transport astronauts to the International Space Station. NASA has spent $6 billion on taxpayer funds for the program, with a large portion of that money going to SpaceX and Boeing.
This means that there is a real feeling that these tourists are paying taxpayers for their space travel.
Is that a right to take a closer look at the Inspiration4 crew? It's hard to say. It is a private trip in some ways. It depends on public funding in other ways.
It's a strange moment in spaceflight history. SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission seems to have vanished from the Earth after all the hype and publicity. Below are just a few video screenshots from the team looking at the Earth.
We shouldn't be expecting much more. Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, has been unusually quiet about the launch.
Musk sent a very short tweet after the launch, which he shared with @inspiration4x crew. Everything is fine.
That was the last time that the billionaire mentioned the flight via Twitter.
More information: Billionaire SpaceX Tourist places Las Vegas Bet from Outer Space
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