earth: Four SpaceX space tourists set to return to Earth tonight


WASHINGTON: The four private space tourists aboard a SpaceX capsule must return to Earth Saturday night, landing off the coast of Florida after three days of orbiting the planet.
The landing is scheduled for 7:06 pm local time (2306 GMT) in the Atlantic Ocean, not far from Cape Canaveral, from where the four Americans took off into space on Wednesday.
The event will be broadcast live on SpaceX, beginning about an hour before the scheduled landing time.
The Dragon’s heat shield will allow the capsule to resist descent, which will be slowed by four huge parachutes once the ship is low enough in Earth’s atmosphere.
After that, a SpaceX ship will come to retrieve it and the passengers will disembark.
The Dragon capsule traveled farther than the International Space Station (ISS) in an orbit about 575 km (357 miles) high. Its altitude dropped to 365 km on Friday night.
This will be the third time that Elon Musk’s company has taken humans to space and vice versa, following the return of two NASA missions, one in August 2020 and another in May of this year. They both brought astronauts from a stay on the ISS.
Unlike the NASA astronauts, the Inspiration4 mission members did not go to the ISS but instead remained in orbit around Earth.
Multimillionaire Jared isaacman funded the trip, paying SpaceX tens of millions of dollars. Isaacman, who led the mission, offered the other three seats to strangers: Hayley Arceneaux, 29-year-old nurse; Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old teacher; and Chris Sembroski, a 42-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
During the flight, the vital signs of the crew members were monitored to study the effects of the space environment on the full rookies.

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