The four-person crew of SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 mission has arrived in Florida to prep for their historic liftoff next week.
"We have arrived at @NASAKennedy . . . it was a great morning of flying with my @inspiration4x crew. Right side is in! Standard. Expect more flights around KSC as we get closer to the big launch," Inspiration4 commander Jared Isaacman said via Twitter today (Sept. 9) (opens in new tab).
Inspiration4 is a private mission to Earth orbit purchased by Isaacman, the billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments. He'll be joined on the flight by Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski.
The quartet will ride to orbit on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which is scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A on Tuesday (Sept. 14) at 8 p.m. EDT (midnight on Sept. 15 GMT).
The Crew Dragon in question is a vehicle named "Resilience," which also flew on SpaceX's Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station for NASA. But there will be no meetup with the orbiting lab on Inspiration4; Resilience will circle Earth solo for three days, then come back for a parachute-aided splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Inspiration4 crew was announced in March and soon began a six-month training regimen. That work included "centrifuge training, Dragon simulations, observations of other SpaceX launch operations, Zero-G plane training, altitude training and additional classroom, simulation and medical testing," Inspiration4 representatives wrote in a statement last week (opens in new tab). "This focused preparation was essential in team development and being ready to execute their role as the first commercial crew to orbit the Earth."
Isaacman formulated the Inspiration4 plan in part to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Arceneaux is a childhood bone cancer survivor who was treated at St. Jude. She now works at the hospital as a physician's assistant.
Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:10 p.m. EDT on Sept. 9 with news of the crew's arrival in Florida.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.