SpaceX, Jared Isaacman, Space 's Latest Crew Mission Is Unlike Any Other

This is the inspiration for launch and well i mean most launches dont, get a netflix, a series associated with it. This is a space tourism mission and its been one which is very carefully crafted to avoid number of complaints about the other space tourism missions. That have happened this year for a start, its actually going to orbit for three days sure there is a billionaire thats paying for it, but hes been very careful to bring along some very cool, relatable, nice, regular people and, frankly, he seems pretty cool myself, but um Yeah this is uh. This is really exciting. This law, i mean you, know to understand just how carefully this is planned. The launch window opens at 8 05 pm right. That is 40 minutes after local sunset, which means the skies are getting dark, and this is going to take off and its going to rise into the sunlight and produce a very bright tail. That will be visible for hundreds of miles along theres, a pretty good chance. If youre anywhere on the east coast of the us that you can probably see this flying through the skies into orbit its taking off from launch complex ‘a, this is the same place that apollo launched to the moon and the space shuttle launched in its first flight. Um, its not uh so its its not going to the state to the space station, its actually going to a higher altitude orbit comparable to the altitude that the space shuttle went to to service the hubble space telescope.

So this means theyll be able to see more of the world, see a view that you just cant see from the space station um. But you know one to be clear. Ive talked about this launch window 805 pm. That is the start of a five hour launch window thats the ideal time for them to launch. If they want this twilight effect but uh, it might be that they cant do that because they are heavily constrained by weather. This is a flight with people on board and its not just that the launch site has to have good weather. They have to have good weather all the way along their launch track because they have to have abort zones that are clear for recovery. If things goes wrong, so they have a lot more flexibility. If the the other crew launches have a delay, they pretty much have to abandon it for the entire launch window, because they have to wait for the space station to come back around or the space stations orbit to come back around. But this isnt going to the space station its going into a free flying orbit. So they can, you know, wait up to five hours for their flight to to launch theres four people on board: theres jared isaacman, hayley, arsenault, cyan proctor and chris brosky, and its billed as the first all civilian space flight, thats, the sort of tagline and, frankly its Not strictly correct in many many ways i mean.

First of all, lots of astronauts were civilians in that they had left the armed forces or never even joined the armed forces. But then you might argue that the spacecraft themselves were, you know, built by the government and therefore not civilian. You know yeah, you can absolutely argue with the all civilian thing, but this is very clearly a different beast from previous flights, so yeah um, you know to obviously build up for this. Theyve got the tv show thats thats running right now. Theyve had four episodes on netflix, which is just covering the crews selection, their backgrounds. There are various exploits during training and ill talk a bit about that. They also had a q. A last uh yesterday, basically sitting answering questions from the public, and this went on for a really long time. They were great. They answered more questions than both blue origin and virgin galactic put together in their pre flight and post flight press conferences. This was great. We got a lot of information and a lot of really good questions and i did actually see you know tim dodd, everyday astronaut, hanging out in the backdrop and somebody asking about the environmental impact of rockets and i could sort of see from his eyes. He was like, i know that i know that seriously though um the tv show is extraordinarily well produced its directed, i think its the same director that did the last dance, which is a fine documentary, um and yeah its it.

It just sort of lays on the fields and whatever, and i could totally see how this works for a lot of people that arent space nerds, um yeah. I mean this could easily have been another story about a billionaire spending, a lot of money going to space. But theres, a lot of you know like talking about fundraising and sure. Yes, he could have just spent it all on fundraising and not going to space, but going to space is really really cool and im going to say you know jared is i mean he also? He also actually has a private air force, so you know that if you really wanted to go on the bad side of things yeah, you could do this, but you look. This is a vastly more complex endeavor than what um richard branson or jeff bezos have done. This is a flight into orbit for several days, its, not something you just turn up, go through the pre flight training and you fly and come back and have champagne. This has required months of training for all the crew, and you know weve, seen team building exercises where theyre climbing mount rainier theyre flying jet planes, theyre doing zero g flights and a lot of time on the dragon, capsule simulator going over checklists and training so that They can handle every eventuality, theyve done like 12 hour 30 hour simulated flights, starting from launch all the way to landing – and you know when i say theyre – simulating everything im pretty sure that this test also included the all important training of learning how to poop.

When the rest of your teammates are on the other side of a carpet in a room, thats actually probably smaller than this one, that im sitting in theres also a lot of extra training for the commander and pilot. That said jared and cyan and youre a funnel. Funnily enough theres uh, you know footage off them flying around in jet planes, and i sort of casually mentioned to an astronaut i was talking to this weekend and he got a bit envious when he heard that cyan was flying a mig 29 in training, which has A little more power than the t, 38 trainers that hed been using at nasa, but you know um. The tv show also focuses a lot on haley and shes, your childhood cancer survivor, and she can actually claim to be the first or she will be able to claim to be not only the youngest american in space but um, the first astronaut with a prosthetic right. She uh had you know she had to have a chunk of her knee removed and its been replaced by like a piece of titanium, titanium, joint and yes, she climbed up a mountain on that thats. Just how effective it is. I also thought it was kind of cool that when shes flying in the backseat of the plane, you hear her just saying so i want you to pull as many gs as possible and you know you, you get some nice shots of her, like just the skin.

Pulling off her face at like 8g, but shes like great my prosthetic works at 8g im going to have to tell my surgeon. You know the new data point and and by the way, yeah also chris yeah no disrespect to him, but if they ever do make like a movie adaptation, i think this character would be the comic relief. I mean youve got the commander, the pilot, the medical officer and chris. You know he had severe motion sickness in the centrifuge and all that but im under no illusions: hes a space, geek hes, a space nerd like me, and many of you hes living the dream. He works in aerospace and hes, loving it. This is fantastic but yeah. I think the other three crew members are clearly the ones that are getting more more airtime, although he seems to be good at answering some of the questions now in terms of the mission hardware, its pretty much a regular dragon, spacecraft, theres theres, no real major modifications To it to make it a tourism version except the docking adapter, so its not going to the space station right its going on this free flight, which means it doesnt, need a docking system. So theyve replaced that with an observation. Dome, which is, i believe, will be the largest single window ever flown on a spacecraft and it its amazing that this was apparently put together in six months. It started out as a sort of rough idea.

It was fleshed out very quickly into a design, built, tested and fit. You know fitted, i think, the dome so that it has two layers of plexiglass, i believe, are acrylic right and im pretty sure they could just go to an aquarium supplier. Like a you know, a an industrial scale, aquarium supplier and buy these things pre made, so they probably like this is probably the same hardware that youll find at like your local, your big scale aquarium. Obviously they have to like create different kinds of seals and yeah aquariums have to handle higher pressures as well, but um. You know plexiglas isnt, exactly a high tech material anymore theyve been using it in planes since world war ii, but i mean to be clear: it is a type of plastic and its not going to be able to handle re entry, so they have the nose cone That folds over it and on the inside theres a hatch. Now i know theres a um. If the nose cone doesnt close properly on the dragon, they have a way to eject the nose cone. So in that situation you need the hatch on the inside as well, because that dome wont survive the heat of that. Apparently the nose cone as it folds up as well theres going to be a camera on the inside that looks out so theyll have views of the people like looking at the earth and viewing things yeah its uh that thats gon na be pretty amazing.

I hope somebody brings a 360 camera because that would be pretty darn neat theyre, bringing along some other stuff. Theyve got like some hops for making beer, and i know that the i know that jared was trying to find some brewers. Who would be interested in making a substantial donation to saint jude in exchange for getting these hops so that they could make some space beer and uh im willing to test that space beer by the way who um, sam adams right, uh, theyre doing theyre? Doing some small amounts of medical tests, so a lot of this is gon na be testing funnily enough. Its gon na be testing a lot of stuff with, like apple watches and theyre gon na have like ultrasound gear, to look at fluid redistribution and i believe its. The butterfly ultrasound system, which literally plugs into an iphone or an ipad so like yeah. This is this is a whole bunch of people just going up to space with their cell phones, im pretty sure theyll be tweeting for everything up there so look. This is this. Is actually pretty pretty fantastic on many levels, and i should also point out that axiom. This really has managed to steal the thunder somewhat from axiom who, for a while, had been advertising that they were going to have the first space mission, uh. First, private tourism space mission on a spacex spacecraft, but the thing was theyre going to the space station, so they were very much constrained by when they could actually get docking time.

You know and park on the space station and they are obviously uh thats now pushed them into second place, whereas this was able to fly free and do what it wanted. So theyve somewhat lost that and and frankly, while the crew again is full of amazing people. Theyre not gon na have this cool netflix documentary and all these people are investors that have managed to make you know bucket loads of money. Doing you know accounting type things in stock markets, as opposed to you know everyday people that want to be science, educators or physicians or build planes or run your own private air force. Also, when this gets to space tonight, this will probably be unless china brings their space to their people home very quickly. This will be a record for the most people in space simultaneously, there will be 14 people right, um, four, on a dragon on the on inspiration. Four four, who are on the iss from a dragon, theres gon na, be three from a soyuz and three from the the shenzhou, so thatll be a record for most people in orbit. Although technically there were 16 when virgin galactic popped above their uh at their arbitrary limit – and you know, new shepard also got 14. But again that was just a very short flight and itll also be the first time we have three dragon spacecraft in space, which you know, i guess thats cool for spacex yeah. This is uh im really looking forward to this im, really glad that ive uh ive had a lot of random people.

Just ask me about this that arent necessarily into space theyve heard about this story and its sort of relating to them, and i did spend the weekend hiking into meteor, crater and meeting with people that you know knew a lot about. Space actually was was talking to anusha ansari, who of course she does a lot of x prize stuff, but she was uh, the first female space tourist and she seems quite excited by the whole thing as well.

What do you think?

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