The Inspiration 4 space mission, the first spaceflight sent by SpaceX with a civilian crew of four, is set to land in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida on Saturday, ending a three-day flight that is the first into Earth orbit with an all-civilian crew. .
SpaceX, a private rocket company funded by Elon Musk’s Tesla, said the capsule, named Dragon, was scheduled to land in the sea around 7 p.m. EST, shortly before sunset.
SpaceX prepared and launched the spacecraft from Florida and controlled its flight from its headquarters in the Los Angeles suburbs.
The flight took off on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, one of two reusable SpaceX rockets.
Within three hours, the capsule reached an orbital altitude of just over 585 km, higher than the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope and farther than any point man has reached since the end of NASA’s Apollo lunar exploration program in 1972.