SpaceX Inspiration4 Mission: Crew Appears in Live Video with Weightless Flips and Ukulele Performances | Scientific and technological news
The first fully civilian astronaut crew to reach orbit appeared in a live video stream with weightless flips and a ukulele performance.
The crew of EspaceXInspiration4 released a 10-minute live YouTube video showing Chris Sembroski, a 42-year-old data engineer, playing chords as the craft orbits Earth.
The four-member team held a demo session as they flew over Europe at around 17,500 mph.
Sian Proctor, 51, a geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate, showed off a piece of art she made in orbit showing the Crew Dragon capsule carried into space by a real dragon.
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a medical assistant at St Jude Children’s Research Center in Tennessee, where she herself was treated for cancer as a child, performed flips to illustrate microgravity.
â€œHayley is a spinning champion. She spins from the moment we are in orbit,â€ Ms. Proctor said.
Ms Arceneaux showed a small, plush dog dressed in a white coat, which the crew uses to indicate it is weightless.
They said that when the toy floats freely in the cabin, they know they are zero-G.
The dog is inspired by one of the golden retrievers who serve as comfort dogs to young patients in St Jude.
The crew also attempted to show spectacular views of Earth through the capsule dome (a dome-shaped window), but the spacecraft flew into Earth’s shadow.
Ms Proctor said she could see an Aurora Borealis, spectacular lights resembling the Northern Lights, but it didn’t show up well on camera.
The astronauts also phoned friends, family and supporters such as Elon Musk and Tom Cruise.
They also appeared on video on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday for the closing bell ringing.
Meet the crew of the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission
The theft was funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman, managing director of e-commerce company Shift4 Payments Inc, and a crew member.
He paid SpaceX’s Mr Musk an undisclosed sum for the flight, which is said to be around $ 200 million (Â£ 146 million).
He hopes to raise the same amount for St Jude and has said his donation will be half of that amount.
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Inspiration4 launched from Kennedy Space Center Wednesday at Cape Canaveral on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX has announced that the crew is expected to return to Earth on Saturday, with an Atlantic water landing off the coast of Florida scheduled for just after 11 p.m. GMT.
On Friday, the spacecraft completed two rocket “burns” to reduce altitude and align the capsule’s path with the landing site.