SpaceX Inspiration4 mission splashdown ends historic trip around the Earth
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The successful mission helps underline the idea of sending everyday folks into space, for tourism, international travel and maybe even cosmic colonization.

Best three-day "weekend" ever? That may be the question SpaceX's four civilian astronauts are putting to themselves after successfully returning to Earth on Saturday. The crew of the historic Inspiration4 mission splashed down off the Florida coast at about 7 p.m. local time, after having orbited the globe almost 50 times since Thursday. The astronauts safely exited the spacecraft about an hour after splashdown, following a recovery at sea.

"That was a heck of a ride for us," mission commander Jared Isaacman tweeted after splashdown. "Congratulations @Inspiration4x!!!" SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, also via Twitter.

Crew of @Inspiration4x - first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit - returns to Earth — SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 18, 2021

It was the first time a crew composed of private citizens had been launched into orbit, without any professional astronauts aboard. The mission took the crew members much farther out than either Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson or Blue Origin's (and Amazon's) Jeff Bezos traveled on their recent jaunts above the planet. And the Inspiration4 trip helps solidify the notion of sending everyday people into space, for tourism, futuristic international travel and perhaps even colonization of the cosmos.

The mission was bankrolled by Isaacman, a former pilot and the billionaire founder of a payment processing company, who offered up the other three seats to members of the general public: physician…
Edward Moyer
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