On Friday, the all-civilian crew of the historic Inspiration4 mission gave visitors on Earth a good look through their cupola. A fancy way of saying dome.
The Crew Dragon capsule in which the crew orbited, features a customized dome that measures 46 inches in diameter and 18 inches in height. It contains only one piece of glass. It is the largest contiguous window ever flown to space, with a viewing area of more than 2,000 square inches.
In an Axios podcast about the mission, Jared Isaacman, the millionaire who led Inspiration4, stated that the first time he peered out of it, while it was still on the ground at SpaceX headquarters in California, the effect was surprising.
“It felt like something that you would have to adjust to,” Mr Isaacman said. “And that’s why I kind of told the crew, like, let’s not underestimate our body’s reaction to this.”
Sian Proctor, SpaceX tourist and scientific communications professional, shared a video of the Inspiration4 crew’s first experience opening the huge glass dome of the Crew Dragon.
“It was a true highlight of the Inspiration4 mission,” Proctor said.
The capsules did not have a dome on the three previous Crew Dragon voyages to space as those missions, which were for NASA, docked at the International Space Station. The Inspiration4 mission, on the other hand, only orbited the Earth; therefore, docking was not necessary. Thus, SpaceX replaced the Crew Dragon’s docking module with a huge glass dome or “cupola.”
From the images released of the Inspiration4 astronauts in space, they appear to be truly ecstatic.
The crew managed to open the hatch for the first time, about 20 minutes into last week’s launch. Hayley Arceneaux, a cancer survivor and crew member, appears to be dumbfounded at the end of the video.
“I hope you’re getting to see what we see,” said Hayley.
“Holy shit,” Chris Sembroski, former Space Camp counsellor and crew member, could be heard mumbling in the background.
While opening the hatch, the crew also played Richard Strauss’ 1896 composition “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” The music was prominently included in the science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
SpaceX has, without a doubt, created the best marketing for its space travel business. Let’s hope they fix the toilet issue in future flights.