CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX is gearing up to launch one of its largest missions yet: its first fully civilian spaceflight.
As part of the mission, called Inspiration4, one of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport four people: Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski into space and on a three-day trip around Earth. Liftoff is scheduled for tonight, September 15, at 8:02 pm EDT (0002 September 16 GMT) from NASA’s historic Kennedy Space Center Pad 39A.
Before heading to Florida for launch, and about a month before takeoff, the crew received something very special. At a naming ceremony that took place on August 8, each member of the four-person crew was given a unique call sign, a type of nickname given to astronauts and military pilots during their training.
You can watch the launch live here and on the Space.com homepage starting at 3:45 pm EDT (1945 GMT), courtesy of SpaceX.
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(Image credit: John Kraus / Inspiration4)
The Inspiration4 crew went through much of the same training exercises as astronauts, including time in fighter jets, putting them in an environment where communication and coordination are essential, similar to space flight. After completing their flights, the crew received special call signs that will adorn their flight suits.
Having flown fighter jets many times before, Isaacman already had the “Tower” call sign, and Inspiration4 reps shared the rest of the crew’s nicknames on Twitter.
“Call signs have been purchased,” the company tweeted on August 10. “Introducing: Hanks, Leo, Rook, and Nova.”
Sembroski is “Hanks”, Proctor is “Leo” and Arceneaux is “Nova”.
According to company representatives, the crew’s family and friends were part of the name selection process, as well as the crew themselves and their flight trainers.
“By far one of the best parts of @ inspiration4x #AstronautTraining is flying and while our rocket will go much faster, this gives us the opportunity to gain situational awareness in a complex and fast-moving fighter jet,” he tweeted Proctor after the ceremony. .
If all goes according to plan, “Hanks”, “Leo”, “Rook” and “Nova” will be placed in their Dragon spacecraft on September 15th and embark on a three-day journey around Earth. Takeoff is scheduled during a five-hour window that opens at 8:02 p.m. EST (0002 GMT on September 16).
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