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SpaceX's Inspiration4 private all-civilian orbital mission: Live updates

SpaceX successfully launched the first all-civilian mission to orbit Earth on Sept. 15, 2021 using a used Crew Dragon capsule and veteran Falcon 9 rocket and you can follow all the action live here. 

Called Inspiration4, the mission is sending send four crewmembers on a three-day orbital flight around the Earth that will end with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean by Sept. 18. Flying with SpaceX are billionaire tech entrepreneur and mission commander Jared Isaacman, with geoscientist and science communicator Sian Proctor as the mission's pilot. Also on board are physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, serving as the chief medical officer, and data engineer Chris Sembroski as mission specialist. The purpose of the mission is to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

      
Meet the Crew | Photos | Launch Recap | Videos |10 Mission Facts

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Inspiration4 astronauts exit SpaceX' Crew Dragon.

The Inspiration4 astronauts have exited their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and have their feet back on Earth after today's successful splashdown.

Hayley Arceneaux, 29, was the first to exit the spacecraft and gave an emphatic two thumbs' up to recovery teams. Pilot Sian Proctor, 51, was next and gave a few fist pumps and a little strut to show off her excitement. 

Mission specialist Chris Sembroski, 42, was next, waving to cameras and raising his hands in the air in triumph. 

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SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 astronauts are all smiles after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean to end their historic three-day trip to orbit on the Crew Dragon Resilience.

SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 astronauts are all smiles after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean to end their historic three-day trip to orbit on the Crew Dragon Resilience. (Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 astronauts are all smiles after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean to end their historic three-day trip to orbit on the Crew Dragon Resilience.

Hayley Arceneaux gives a double thumbs' up after exiting Crew Dragon. (Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 astronauts are all smiles after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean to end their historic three-day trip to orbit on the Crew Dragon Resilience.

A jubilant Sian Proctor after exiting the Crew Dragon Resilience. (Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 astronauts are all smiles after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean to end their historic three-day trip to orbit on the Crew Dragon Resilience.

Chris Sembroski waves to a camera after exiting the Inspiration4 crew's Dragon capsule. (Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 astronauts are all smiles after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean to end their historic three-day trip to orbit on the Crew Dragon Resilience.

Inspiration4 commander Jared Isaacman celebrates his successful private spaceflight on SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Rounding out the crew was its commander Jared Isaacman, 38, a billionaire tech entrepreneur who paid SpaceX to fly the Inspiration4 mission. Isaacman was all smiles and traded fist bumps with Proctor repeatedly while inside the Dragon during recovery operations. As he exited, he waved to cameras and even hugged a SpaceX recovery team.

SpaceX's live webcast has ended, and with it our blow-by-blow account of the mission. SpaceX and the Inspiration4 team will share more updates on the mission via social media. You can find SpaceX's Twitter feed here, and Inspiration4's here.

SpaceX has successfully recovered the Inspiration4 crew's Dragon capsule and hoisted it aboard a recovery ship. 

Jared Isaacman says his crew is glad to be aboard. The capsule will be moved under the recovery ship's helipad so that recovery teams can open the capsule's side hatch and help Isaacman and his crewmates exit the space capsule. 

A view of SpaceX's Inspiration4 Crew Dragon capsule Resilience as it is recovered from the Atlantic Ocean after a successful splashdown on Sept. 18, 2021. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Recovery teams reach Dragon

SpaceX recovery teams reached the Inspiration4 crew's Dragon spacecraft shortly after splashdown and are working to safeguard the capsule and retrieve the crew. 

The recovery team is attaching cables and other rigging to the capsule so that it can be hoisted up onto a SpaceX recovery ship. The crew will be extracted on the ship. 

A helicopter is expected to ferry the crew to NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. 

Isaacman says the crew is having a "great time with in-flight entertainment" while they wait. 

Splashdown! Crew Dragon back on Earth

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A view of SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience during splashdown to return the Inspiration4 astronauts to Earth.

(Image credit: SpaceX)
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A view of SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience during splashdown to return the Inspiration4 astronauts to Earth.

(Image credit: SpaceX)
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A view of SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience during splashdown to return the Inspiration4 astronauts to Earth.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience has successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. 

Inspiration4 commander Jared Isaacman: 'it was a heckuva ride. We're just getting started.'

Parachute Deploy!

Inspiration4's Crew Dragon during splashdown.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

Main Parachutes Deploy! @SpaceX's Crew Dragon is under its main chutes to return the @inspiration4 crew home.

"Copy that, SpaceX, good news," Jared Isaacman says.

Dragon less than 80 km above Earth

SpaceX reports that Crew Dragon has actually NOW entered the blackout communications period (I was in error earlier) and it'll last 4 minutes. 

The spacecraft is currently below 80 km above Earth.

-- Tariq Malik

Dragon nosecone closed for reentry

A view of the Crew Dragon Resilience as it returned to Earth on Sept. 18, 2021.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX reports the nosecone on Dragon is closed for reentry. 

The cupola, seen above from earlier today, is now closed after 3 days of stunning views of Earth from space.

Dragon will soon enter a communications blackout period during landing due to plasma interference around the spacecraft. It should last 7 minutes. 

"The deorbit burn was right down the middle and you're on target," SpaceX's mission control radioed to the Inspiration4 crew.

Deorbit burn complete

A view inside the Crew Dragon Resilience as it returned to Earth on Sept. 18, 2021. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience has completed it's deorbit burn and is on track for for tonight's landing. The spacecraft's nosecone will now be closed for reentry, covering its giant glass dome cupola. 

Here's a view over the shoulders of mission commander Jared Isaacman (left) and pilot Sian Proctor as they watch over Dragon's systems for tonight's splashdown.

Deorbit burn underway

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience has fired its thrusters to begin a 15-minute deorbit burn.

The maneuver should end by about 6:32 p.m. EDT and includes a series of firings by the Dragon's SuperDraco thrusters. 

SpaceX Dragon jettisons trunk

Inspiration4 mission specialist Chris Sembroski is watching Spaceballs as the crew prepares for landing.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience has jettisoned its service module trunk, leaving the crew capsule on battery power and poised for reentry.

Deorbit burn set for 6:16 pm ET.

In the meantime, the crew is apparently enjoying their trip back to Earth. Inspiration4 mission specialist Chris Sembroski is watching Spaceballs as the crew prepares for landing.

SpaceX's tablet on Dragon apparently come with some vital apps.

Inspiration4's return remains on schedule

The Inspiration4 crew is suited up and ready for their return to Earth, and the Crew Dragon is now on its last orbit before reentry and splashdown, SpaceX just tweeted

Weather conditions are looking good for a splashdown off the coast of Florida at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT). SpaceX's webcast of the Crew Dragon's atmospheric reentry and splashdown will begin at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT), and you can watch it live here

Earlier today, SpaceX shared some truly spectacular views of an orbital sunset and moonrise with Crew Dragon's cupola. Check them out here.

It's splashdown Day for Inspiration4 crew

The crew of SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission speak with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital patients from space during their mission.

The crew of SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission speak with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital patients from space during their mission. (Image credit: Inspiration4)

It's splashdown day for the Inspiration4 crew. 

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience carrying the four Inspiration4 astronauts will return to Earth tonight with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT). SpaceX will webcast the return to Earth live beginning at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT)

Here's a look at the timing for today's splashdown events from SpaceX: 

SpaceX Inspiration4 Splashdown Timeline
Hour/Minute (EDT)Event
5:32 a.m.Forward hatch close
6:11 p.m. Trunk jettison
6:16 p.m.Deorbit burn start
6:31 p.m.Deorbit burn end
6:35 p.m.Nosecone closed
7:02 p.mDrogues parachutes deploy
7:03 p.m.Main parachutes deploy
7:06 p.m.Dragon splashdown

Inspiration4 update! Ukulele, science research and splashdown!

(Image credit: Inspiration4)

The crew of Inspiration4 greeted everyone back on Earth in a live video at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) this evening and they showed off their art, music, science and we finally know when they're planning on landing back on Earth!

During a live video broadcast on SpaceX's YouTube channel, the four civilian astronauts that make up the Inspiration4 crew (commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski) shared some updates on what they've been up to in space and when they plan to land.

The broadcast shared that the crew will splashdown at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT) on Saturday evening. 

Additionally, Sembroski showed off his ukulele-playing skills, Proctor shared artwork that she's created of SpaceX's Crew Dragon riding to space (on a dragon) and Arceneaux shared that the crew's zero-g indicator represents the therapy dogs at St.. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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The crew also shared that they've been spending a lot of time both looking out the window and conducting medical research, collecting data to explore how space affects the human body. That has included ultrasounds, blood samples, microbial swabs and much more.

Get ready for an update!

In just about 5 minutes, at 5 pm EDT (2100 GMT), the crew of Inspiration4 will go live from aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon that they're flying around Earth. 

The crew is set to provide updates about how everything is going with the mission, so tune in above!

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Ringing the NYSE bell from space!

(Image credit: Inspiration4)

Inspiration4's crew got to ring the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) bell from space today (Sept. 17)!

The crew had a busy day in space today as they continue to orbit Earth as part of their 3-day orbital mission in space. One of the things they got to do today was rhing the NYSE bell.

Mission commander Jared Isaacman, a tech billionaire who chartered the flight for this mission aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon, also founded the company Shift4Payments. 

"@Shift4Payments celebrates the first all-civilian mission to space #Inspiration4," the NYSE tweeted this afternoon. 

Inspiration4's Twitter account shared the post along with the caption "Bell ringing from on-orbit!"

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Tom Cruise pals around with Inspiration4

Actor Tom Cruise found himself having a cosmic conversation with the Inspiration4 crew while they orbited Earth today (Sept. 17), Inspiration4's official Twitter revealed.

"Rook, Nova, Hanks, and Leo spoke to @TomCruise sharing their experience from space. Maverick, you can be our wingman anytime," Inspiration4 tweeted. 

If you don't recognize those four names, they are the Inspiration4 crew's "call signs," or nicknames that are used most commonly by astronauts and pilots to help with communication. 

With this crew, "Rook" is commander Jared Isaacman, "Leo" is pilot Sian Proctor, "Nova" is medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and "Hanks" is mission specialist Chris Sembroski.

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Hayley gives St. Jude patients a space-tastic tour

 Hayley Arceneaux enjoying views from the tailor-made cupola in the Dragon Crew capsule. (Image credit: Inspiration4)

Today, the Inspiation4 crew had a special call with patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital back on Earth. 

As part of the call, St. Jude revealed on Twitter, mission medical officer and St. Jude physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux gave the kids at St. Jude a special tour of the special cupola window that was installed in the SpaceX Crew Dragon that took the four civilian astronauts to orbit. 

"Breaking from @Inspiration4x Mission Control. #Inspiration4 Crew member Hayley gave St. Jude patients a special tour of the cupola, the biggest window to ever go to space!" St. Jude wrote on Twitter

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During the call, crewmembers Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman and Chris Sembroski also chatted with the kids of St. Jude. 

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The crew chatted with the kids about everything from if there are cows on the moon to if the crew can speak Spanish in space. 

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And, of course, they all had a lot of fun talking about aliens. 

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Inspiration4 crew to share update this afternoon

(Image credit: John Kraus/Inspiration4)

Curious what the Inspiration4 crew has been up to since they launched to Earth orbit Sept. 15 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center?

Join the crew LIVE from space today at 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) as they share updates on how their 3-day journey in orbit around Earth aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft is going!

Check out the livestream at the video below:

Sunsets in space

The Inspiration4 astronauts are just about to wake up for their scheduled 1 pm ET (1700 GMT) wake-up call. 

But, while the crew just launched a couple of nights ago, in the evening on Sept. 15, they have already experienced 25 sunrises and 25 sunsets from their vantage point in orbit around Earth, Inspiration4's Twitter revealed today (Sept. 17).

"Rise and shine! Dragon and the #Inspiration4 astronauts have experienced more than 25 sunrises and 25 sunsets since they’ve been in space. Follow Dragon at http://spacex.com/launch," the tweet reads.

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See the 1st crew photos

The Inspiration4 mission team has finally shared the first photos of the crew in space, with some gorgeous Earth views from the cupola window. Take a look! 

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The four private astronauts of SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission smile in space in this still image from Sept. 16, 2021. From left they are: Jared Isaacman, commander; Hayley Arceneaux, medical officer; Chris Sembroski, mission specialist; Sian Proctor, pilot. (Image credit: Inspiration4)
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Inspiration4 medical officer Haley Arceneaux watches Earth below from SpaceX's Crew Dragon cupola in this image shared on Sept. 17, 2021. (Image credit: Inspiration4)
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Inspiration4 commander and tech billionaire Jared Isaacman looks out the cupola window on SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (Image credit: Inspiration4)
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Chris Sembroski, Inspiration4 mission specialist, is seen taking photographs in SpaceX's Crew Dragon cupola during the mission. (Image credit: Inspiration4)

The images appear to be stills from a video taken on Thursday during the crew's first full day in space. It shows the crew smiling while talking on a radio and gazing at Earth through their Crew Dragon's domed cupola.

The Inspiration4 crew also spoke to cancer patients treated at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is the main benefactor of multiple fundraising activities related to the mission. Read our full story.

SpaceX Inspiration4 crew doing well in orbit

Inspiration4 lifted off successfully on Sept. 15.

(Image credit: Inspiration4/John Kraus)

The four private astronauts of SpaceX's are well into their first full day in space on their three-day mission and are doing well, SpaceX officials said. 

"The @Inspiration4x crew is healthy, happy, and resting comfortably. Before the crew went to bed, they traveled 5.5 times around Earth, completed their first round of scientific research, and enjoyed a couple of meals," SpaceX wrote in a Twitter update today. 

"After the crew wakes up today, they will conduct additional research and get their first look out of Dragon’s cupola!" they continued. 

"Dragon continues to remain in its intended target orbit, with altitudes as high as 590km above the Earth’s surface," they added.

SpaceX unveils Inspiration4 cupola on Dragon

SpaceX has unveiled the first view of its new cupola window on the Crew Dragon Resilience for the Inspiration4 crew, with a dazzling view of the Earth in the background. The view was shared early today in a post on Twitter

As the Inspiration4 crew enters their first full day in orbit, they're doing so as record-breakers. For the first time in history, there are 14 people in Earth orbit at the same time.

In addition to the four Inspiration4 astronauts (Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux and Chris Sembroski), there are seven people living on the International Space Station (NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur and Mark Vande Hei; Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy; Japan's Akihiko Hoshide; and the European Space Agency's Thomas Pesquet) and three Chinese astronauts (Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo) living on China's Tianhe space station module, the core of the new Tiangong station.

1st official Inspiration4 launch day photos

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(Image credit: John Kraus/Inspiration4)
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(Image credit: John Kraus/Inspiration4)
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(Image credit: John Kraus/Inspiration4)

Inspiration4 campaign photographer John Kraus has captured some incredible views of Wednesday's launch. You can see the latest images on the Inspiration4 Flickr page.

Crew Dragon sets a new record

(Image credit: SpaceX)

The Crew Dragon Resilience has completed its second phasing burn and now orbiting Earth at an altitude of 364 miles (585 kilometers) — actually 6 miles (10 km) higher than planned, SpaceX announced on Twitter, adding that this is a new altitude record for the spacecraft. 

Resilience is currently orbiting above the Atlantic Ocean heading toward Africa, and you can monitor the spacecraft's position live at spacex.com/launches. They will complete one orbit every 90 minutes, seeing 15 sunrises  and sunsets every day.

Inspiration4 crew settle into orbit as Dragon climbs

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A view over the shoulders of Jared Isaacman on the left and Sian Proctor on the right aboard the Inspiration4 SpaceX Crew Dragon on Sept. 15, 2021.

A view over the shoulders of Jared Isaacman on the left and Sian Proctor on the right aboard the Inspiration4 SpaceX Crew Dragon on Sept. 15, 2021. (Image credit: SpaceX)
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A view of the Inspiration4 zero-g indicator, a small stuffed golden retriever dog to represent service dogs at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

A view of the Inspiration4 zero-g indicator, a small stuffed golden retriever dog to represent service dogs at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. (Image credit: SpaceX)

After a smooth launch into orbit, the Inspiration4 astronauts on SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience should be climbing out of their flight suits and settling into their new life in orbit. Their Dragon spacecraft, meanwhile, is making its way toward a final orbit 357 miles (575 kilometers) above Earth.

The spacecraft has completed its first of several "phasing burns" to climb to its higher orbit, the highest altitude for a space mission since NASA's Hubble Space Telescope repair missions. Here's the launch view from Space.com contributor Amy Thompson at NASA's Kennedy Space Center during liftoff:

While SpaceX's live webcast ended after reaching orbit, company officials said before signing off that the all-civilian crew were expected to get their first look outside through the Dragon's massive new cupola window, so they may be gazing at Earth for awhile. 

The team's medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician's assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, unveiled an adorable stuffed toy puppy called Jude as the crew's zero-gravity indicator after reaching orbit. The toy represents the golden retriever dogs Puggle and Hucklebery at St. Jude and is wearing a spacesuit. You can find a replica of the puppy here to support St. Jude.

We'll resume our live coverage early Thursday, Sept. 16. In the meantime, behold, Jude the Inspiration4 space puppy.

A closeup of Jude, the Inspiration4 astronaut puppy plush used as a zero-g indicator on the mission.

(Image credit: St. Jude Children's Hospital)

Spacecraft Separation! Dragon in orbit!

The Crew Dragon Resilience has separated from its Falcon 9 upper stage, officially bringing the into orbit. They have a little toy stuffed golden retriever as their zero-g indicator. 

Earlier, SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage landed safely on the drone ship Just Read The Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Inspiration4 astronauts, SpaceX and the rest of us are awaiting the opening of the cupola for the first time on Crew Dragon. The glass dome is the largest single window ever to fly in space.

Entry Burn

SpaceX's Falcon 9 1st stage has performed its entry burn for tonight's landing attempt on the drone ship Just Read The Instructions.

Stage Separation

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket first stage has separated from its upper stage and is preparing to return to Earth. The upper stage is continuing upward carrying the Inspiration4 crew towards orbit.

LIFTOFF!

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket has lifted off into history carrying four civilians on a first-of-its kind mission to orbit.

The Falcon 9 and its Crew Dragon rocket are carrying the Inspiration4 crew led by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who financed the flight. He is joined by pilot Sian Proctor, a geoscientist; medical officer Hayley Arceneaux, a bone cancer survivor and St. Jude Children's Hospital physician's assistant and data engineer Chris Sembroski.

T-10 minutes to launch

SpaceX Sarah Gillis has given a final sign off to the Inspiration4 crew as they near launch tonight at 8:02 p.m. EDT.

"It has been an absolute honor to prepare you for this historic flight. Today you are truly inspiring the world. We wish you a great mission. Good luck, Godspeed, and enjoy the ride."

Less than 15 minutes to launch

The four Inspiration4 astronauts wave and give thumb's up signs to the camera inside SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience as they await launch atop NASA's Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept. 15, 2021. They are (from left): Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux. (Image credit: SpaceX)

With less than 15 minutes to go to until launch, SpaceX is topping off the Inspiration4 crew's Falcon 9 rocket upper stage with liquid oxygen. Everything continues on schedule for tonight's launch at 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT).

The Falcon 9 rocket's 1st stage for Inspiration4 is making its third trip to space, while the Crew Dragon Resilience is on its second trip after flying NASA's Crew-2 astronauts to the International Space Station last year.

The crew is GO for launch!

SpaceX Inspiration4 crewmembers Hayley Arceneaux (foreground) and Sian Proctor take in the view from the Crew Access Arm leading to their Crew Dragon Resilience ahead of launching from NASA's Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept. 15, 2021. (Image credit: SpaceX)

It's finally here, less than 30 minutes until Inspiration4 lifts off at 8:02 p.m. EDT tonight (Sept. 15)  (0002 GMT Sept. 16) and the crew is go for launch. 

"The crew of #Inspiration4 is go for launch," the Inspiartion4 mission Twitter account tweeted. 

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The crew arm moves away, fueling begins, countdown is getting close

At T-35 minutes from launch, the crew access arm that the astronauts previously walked out on to get to the Crew Dragon spacecraft moved away from the craft. 

This means that the teams at SpaceX are going to begin loading propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket that will propel the craft to orbit. Additionally, the teams at SpaceX have armed the launch escape system. These steps show that things are going as planned and the launch is very, very close!

Follow along at the livestream above or at Space.com to keep u with the crew as they approach launch!

Less than an hour to launch! What are they bringing to space?

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The Inspiration4 crew are ready to launch to space! They are now less than an hour from launching on a 3-day orbital journey in space. 

So what are they bringing to space?

The crew has shared the interesting tidbits they're carrying with them, some of which will be auctioned off later to support the mission's objective to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Related: Inspiration4: When to watch and what to know

 The Inspiration4 crew (Image credit: SpaceX)
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The items that will be later auctioned off for St. Jude include Inspiration4 mission jackets that will feature artwork by St. Jude patients; hops from Sam Adams that will be used to make beer upon returning to Earth; a Fisher Space Pen that contains a piece of Apollo 11 thermal tape; toys based off of characters from the animated show "Space Racers," fifty NFTs (non-fungible tokens) from artists including mission pilot Sian Proctor. 

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All strapped in and ready to go!

The Inspiration4 astronauts are ready to launch. (Image credit: SpaceX/Inspiration4)

Inspiration4's four civilian astronauts are suited up, strapped in and ready to go space!

With the hatch closed the the countdown approaching T-minus one hour, the crew continues preparations and final checks while strapped in aboard the specially-outfitted SpaceX Crew Dragon that they will ride into orbit around Earth and home again. 

This spacecraft is specially-equipped with a small cupola window that will allow the crew to peer out and see Earth from inside the capsule as they travel around Earth. 

90 minutes to launch and things are looking good!

The hatch has been officially and successfully closed, as you can see in the video above, and it is now less than 90 minutes until the Inspiration4 mission launches from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

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"We're getting close and the skies look great. About 90 minutes to the beginning of our #Inspiration4 launch window!" Inspiration4 tweeted alongside a few photos of the crew and Pad 39A where they will launch from in just a few minutes. 

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Callsigns for SpaceX's Inspiration4 crew

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SpaceX Inspiration4 launch day photos.

(Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX Inspiration4 launch day photos.

(Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX Inspiration4 launch day photos.

(Image credit: SpaceX)
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SpaceX's private Inspiration4 crew arrives at the launch pad.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX has completed all its flight suit checks for the Inspiration4 crew, with some novel callsigns for the four civilian astronauts. The next major step will be hatch closure.

The Inspiration4 team earned their callsign nicknames during jet flight training with Jared Isaacman's old flight team. If you hear strange names, during SpaceX calls to Dragon, that's why. Those names are: 

Rook: Jared Isaacman, he already had the callsign rom his flying days. 

Leo: Sian Proctor.

Hanks: Chris Sembroski, apparently a Tom Hanks reference. 

Nova: Hayley Arceneaux

Inspiration4 crew enters Crew Dragon Resilience

Inspiration4 crewmembers Hayley Arceneaux and Sian Proctor have entered SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience for tonight's launch. Crewmates Jared Isaacman and Chris Sembroski are also preparing for ingress. 

The crew are just under 3 hours to launch, with liftoff set for 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT). 

Once inside Resilience, the Inspiration4 crew will perform a series of communications and system checks to ensure they're ready for launch.

Inspiration4 crew arrives at launch pad

(Image credit: SpaceX)

The four Inspiration4 crewmembers have arrived at Launch Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center where they will board their Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft for tonight's launch. 

Liftoff is on track for 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT).

The Inspiration4 crew are now donning their SpaceX flight suits for tonight's launch on the Crew Dragon Resilience. 

They are inside a new suit-up room at SpaceX's Falcon support building near Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. 

SpaceX's four Inspiration4 crewmembers suit up in their white flight suits inside the company's Falcon support building at Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center ahead of a planned Sept. 15, 2021 launch. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Elon Musk visits SpaceX Inspiration4 crew

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk just visited the four Inspiration4 crewmembers as they prepared to head to the launchpad for tonight's launch. 

Musk posed for a photo with the crew before they left SpaceX's Hangar X earlier today and drove out to Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Check it out.

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Weather forecast is 90% chance of good weather

SpaceX's John Insprucker says the weather forecast for tonight's Inspiration4 launch at 8:02 p.m. EDT (0020 GMT) has improved. There is now a pristine 90% chance of good conditions at launch, up from 80% earlier today. 

Insprucker said the weather outlook looks good not just for tonight's launch, but for the next three days through splashdown and recovery. 

SpaceX's Inspiration4 crew heads to launch pad

The four astronauts for SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 mission have arrived at their launch site to suit up in their custom pressure suits for tonight's launch into orbit. 

The crewmembers, led by billionaire tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, walked out of SpaceX's Hangar X at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and took two Teslas to the company's Falcon support building near Launch Pad 29A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center. There, they are getting a final briefing and will get their personal tablets for the mission. Later, they'll don sleek, black-and-white spacesuits and head to the pad itself.

SpaceX's first all-civilian crew for the Inspiration4 mission walks out of Hangar X at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to head to their launch pad on Sept. 15, 2021. From left: mission specialist Chris Sembroski; pilot and geoscientist Sian Proctor; commander Jared Isaacman; and medical officer Hayley Arceneaux. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX Inspiration4 live webcast to start soon

SpaceX is counting down toward a tonight's Inspiration4 civilian astronaut launch to orbit and all systems appear to be GO, so far. 

At 3:45 pm. EDT (1945 GMT), SpaceX's launch webcast will begin and run through tonight's launch attempt. Liftoff is still targeted for 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 Sept. 16 GMT), with a 70% chance of good launch weather. 

You can watch the launch webcast live on this page at top, or here on our full webcast guide. You can also watch it directly from SpaceX here.

At 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), Netflix will host it's own live launch webcast and you can watch that here.

Systems and weather are GO for launch tonight!

Inspiration4 is one step closer to launch as SpaceX has announced that "all systems and weather are looking good for today's Falcon 9 launch of Dragon's first all-civilian spaceflight." 

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The mission is still set to lift off tonight (Sept. 15) at 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT Sept. 16) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

To follow along with the crew, catch SpaceX's live webcast, which begins at 3:45 p.m. EDT (1945 GMT) this afternoon, a little over four hours ahead of the launch. 

Inspiration4 astronauts prepare to launch

The crew of Inspiration4 readies for launch.  (Image credit: Inspiration4/John Kraus)

Inspiration4's crew of four civilian astronauts are just hours away from launching on a 3-day journey in orbit around Earth. 

But while they're getting ready to blast off of our planet, the crew, who will lift off at 8:02 EDT tonight (Sept. 15) (0002 GMT Sept. 16) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, isn't nervous, they're excited!

Even SpaceX founder Elon Musk is excited. After changing his Twitter profile photo to the Inspiration4 crew photo, he tweeted "Watch Countdown on Netflix about Inspiration4 mission launching today," encouraging his followers to follow along on the crew's journey. 

Mission pilot Sian Proctor shared her excitement this afternoon on social media, tweeting "I've been waiting for this moment all my life. Thank you for all the well wishes & support. Let's do this!"

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"We are happy to make our contributions to science," commander Jared Isaacman wrote on Twitter ahead of the launch about the mission's planned research experiments that will expand our understanding of the effects of space on human health. 

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Medical officer Hayley Arceneaux shared "I want to thank everyone for all the support, encouragement, and love. And thank you to @StJude for being the reason I'm here today. This is for everyone who's ever been through something difficult, and I know we all have. Hold onto hope because there WILL be better days," she tweeted.

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Mission specialist Chris Sembroski shared his joy as well, tweeting "Launch day! And you are welcome to join in the adventure! It all builds up to Liftoff at 8:02pm ET from Pad 39A."

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Inspiration4 will make history!

The Inspiration4 crew, from left: Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux. (Image credit: John Kraus/Inspiration4)

Tonight's (Sept. 15) Inspiration4 mission will make history in SO many ways!

First, this will be the first all-civilian mission to orbit. That means that this is the first time that a mission has launched to orbit with only civilians, or spaceflyers who are not "professional astronauts," or astronauts employed by an agency like NASA, on board. 

This mission will also carry a crew who are making history themselves!

With this mission, pilot Sian Proctor has become history's first Black female spacecraft pilot and the crew's medical officer Hayley Arceneaux is set to be both the youngest American to ever go to space with this mission, and the first person to go to space with a prosthesis. 

Inspiration4 launches TONIGHT! How to watch and celebrate

TONIGHT! (Sept. 15) Inspiration4, the first-ever all-civilian mission to orbit will take off for a 3-day journey around Earth. 

The mission will launch at 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT Sept. 16) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

To join in the fun, you can tune into SpaceX's official livestream at Space.com or directly on SpaceX's YouTube channel starting at 3:45 p.m. EDT (1945 GMT). 

Closer to the launch window, you can catch the crew along with a slew of celebrities in a Netflix livestream below: 

The 90-minute Netflix live bash will feature hosts Karamo of Queer Eye fame and award-willing journalist Soledad O'Brien. 

The livestream will air alongside Netflix's new docuseries "Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space," follows the crew of Inspiration4 in real-time as they prepare to launch to space. 

In addition to the Inspiration4 crew and the show's hosts, it will also include appearances by former NASA astronauts Leland Melvin, Cady Coleman and Ron Garan. The live event will also include Time's editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger who will be reporting live from Kennedy Space Center, and additional celebrity appearances by actors who appear in Netflix series including "Lost in Space," "Shadow and Bone," "Another Life," "The Baby-Sitters Club," "Baking Impossible," "Bling Empire," "The Chair," "The Circle," "Family Reunion," "Floor is Lava," "Love Is Blind," "My Unorthodox Life," "Never Have I Ever," "On My Block" and "To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before."

Launch day!

Today is the day! 

Tonight (Sept. 15) at 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT Sept. 16), the Inspiration4 mission will launch to orbit with four civilian astronauts (or spaceflyers that aren't "professional astronauts" with an agency like NASA) on board. 

The mission will send the four civilian astronauts into orbit for three days aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that's equipped with a special cupola window they will be able to peer through to see planet Earth. 

The crew members include commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski. Read more about the crewmembers here

Check out this page to learn more about the mission and what to expect: Inspiration4: When to watch and what to know.

You can watch the launch LIVE tonight over at Space.com or directly at SpaceX's Youtube channel here

One day from launch! Take a look at the crew

The Inspiration4 crew prepares for launch.  (Image credit: Inspiration4/John Kraus)

It is one day away from the launch of Inspiration4!

Tomorrow night (Sept. 15), four soon-to-be astronauts will launch aboard the first all-civilian mission to orbit no earlier than 8:02 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 15 (0022 GMT Thursday, Sept. 16) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

The four crewmembers have a wide variety of backgrounds and all found themselves on a journey to space through unique circumstances.  

Read more about the crewmembers here

A brief synopsis!

Launching on this mission will be: 

Commander Jared Isaacman, a tech billionaire who founded Shift4 Payments. Isaacman chartered the SpaceX Crew Dragon flight that will bring the crew to orbit and return them safely home. 

Sian Proctor is a geoscientist, science communicator, professor and Afrofuturism space artist whose inspirational video and art propelled her into her seat to space. 

Hayley Arceneaux is a physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and a childhood cancer survivor who's helping the mission raise money and awareness for the hospital.

Chris Sembroski is an Air Force veteran, a data engineer and a former Space Camp counselor. 

Static fire and dress rehearsal complete

(Image credit: John Kraus/Inspiration4)

SpaceX successfully completed the static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Inspiration4 mission, company officials announced on Twitter this morning. The Inspiration4 crew also completed a dress rehearsal for the mission on Sunday (Sept. 12).

The launch window has also narrowed down a bit: Inspiration4 is now scheduled to launch during a five-hour window that opens Wednesday (Sept. 15) at 8:02 p.m. EDT (0002 Sept. 16 GMT), SpaceX added. 

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SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience is seen with the Inspiration4 mission logo inside its hangar ahead of a planned Sept. 15, 2021 launch from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Image credit: SpaceX)

It's launch week for SpaceX's private Inspiration4 mission and the four civilians launching on the site have paid a final trip to their Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon Resilience, the ship that will be their home in space during the 3-day mission.

SpaceX is targeting an 8 p.m. EDT launch on Sept. 15 for the Inspiration4 mission, which will launch Shift4 entrepreneur and billionaire Jared Isaacman into space with crewmates Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski. Isaacman is financing the flight privately and gave away the three seats to his crewmates through fundraising efforts for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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"One last touch of our Dragon capsule before launch," wrote Proctor, Inspiration4's  pilot and a geoscientist, on Twitter. 

"The awe visiting of our spaceship," Arceneaux, a physician's assistant at St. Jude, added. 

"Resilience is ready to roll. She is on the Falcon and it is a beautiful sight!" added Sembroski. 

New launch date

Inspiration4 is now targeting liftoff of no earlier than 8 p.m. EDT on Sept. 15 (midnight Sept. 16 GMT), mission officials announced this morning — a 24-hour slip from the original launch window. 

Teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 met on Thursday (Sept. 9) for a follow-on flight readiness review and a weather briefing, Inspiration4 officials said in a statement

"After evaluating the readiness of the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft, associated ground systems, recovery assets and other key elements of SpaceX's human spaceflight system, and the current weather forecasts of conditions at the launch site, along the ascent corridor, and at the landing locations off the coasts of Florida for a safe return of the crew a few days later, teams agreed to now target no earlier than 8:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 15 for liftoff," the statement reads.

"This will allow additional time for final preparations, vehicle checkouts and data reviews. SpaceX and Inspiration4 will narrow down the launch window to five hours approximately three days before liftoff," the statement added.

Inspiration4 crew completes spaceflight training

(Image credit: Inspiration4)

The four private astronauts launching with SpaceX on the Inspiration4 mission have completed all of their training and will head to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida today for their last days on Earth before liftoff. The launch is targeted for Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. EDT (0000 Sept. 15 GMT).

"Our Inspiration4 crew has completed astronaut training at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, CA and is en route to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for final preparations and launch!" the Inspiration4 team wrote in an update today. 

Related: Inspiration4: SpaceX's historic private spaceflight in photos

"At the last meeting today we heard... "Inspiration4 is signed off for spaceflight"... we are now on the way to with a busy schedule right up to launch," Jared Isaacman, the Shift4 entrepreneur and billionaire financing the flight, wrote in another update.

Isaacman will command the unprecedented three-day private spaceflight with three others, all civilians like him, on the flight. He'll be joined by geoscientist Sian Proctor as the mission's pilot; Hayley Arceneaux as medical officer and data engineer Chris Sembroski as mission specialist.  

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One week from launch!

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SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission, the world's 1st private all-civilian spaceflight, is now one week away from a planned Sept. 15 launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission, financed by Shift4 entrepreneur and billionaire Jared Isaacman, will launch him and three others on a three-day orbital mission on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon Resilience. Isaacman will be joined by geoscientist Sian Proctor as pilot; and bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux and data engineer Chris Sembroski as mission specialists. Arceneaux, who works with St. Jude Children's Hospital, was selected for the flight, with Proctor and Sembroski nabbing their seats as part of an online contest. 

"Alright, let's go to space, @rookisaacman," Arceneaux wrote on Twitter Tuesday (Sept. 7) while sharing a photo of herself and Isaacman boarding a plane. 

The four astronauts-to-be have spent the last few months training to fly on SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience, which launched NASA's Crew-1 astronauts to the International Space Station in 2020. But the Inspiration4 mission will not visit the station. Instead, it will orbit the Earth and has a huge glass dome in place of its docking port to offer stunning views to the Dragon crew.

Inspiration4 is GO for launch

(Image credit: Inspiration4)

SpaceX and the Inspiration4 team completed a flight readiness review on Thursday (Sept. 2) and declared the mission "go" for launch on Sept. 15. The exact liftoff time will be determined just a few days before launch. Read the full story.

With just over one week to go until the Inspiration4 launch, we'll be posting daily updates on the countdown, launch and splashdown here throughout the mission. If you're looking for more information on the the Inspiration4 mission, check out our Inspiration4 reference page here. 

Our gallery here has the latest Inspiration4 mission photos. You can even watch a new documentary on Netflix to learn more about the flight.