SpaceX’s All-Civilian Inspiration4 Crew Readies for Launch

Sure, an orbital flight without professional astronauts is unorthodox—but it just might work.

On Wednesday night, if the weather cooperates, four civilians—none of them NASA astronauts—are expected to blast into space aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. They’ll be launching from the same part of NASA’s Kennedy Center in Florida that saw the liftoff of so many historic Apollo and space shuttle missions, but they’ll be aboard a different kind of spaceflight: the first all-civilian, all-private mission into orbit.

This new spaceflight, dubbed Inspiration4, will propel the crew into low Earth orbit at an altitude of some 350 miles

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