SpaceX: Inspiration4 amateur astronauts return to Earth after three days
Published2 hours ago
media captionMoment SpaceX capsule splashes back to Earth
Four space tourists have splashed down successfully in the Atlantic Ocean after three days orbiting Earth.
They are the first all-civilian team to achieve this feat.
The Inspiration4 crew left on a SpaceX capsule from Florida on Wednesday, and landed off the state's coast after 19:00 local time (23:00 GMT) on Saturday.
Four parachutes slowed the capsule's descent before it landed in the water, where SpaceX boats sped to retrieve it.
The Inspiration4 team was led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, chief executive of the e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc, who acted as mission "commander".
He had paid an undisclosed sum - estimated by Time magazine to be about $200 million (£145 million) - to fellow billionaire Elon Musk for all four seats aboard the Crew Dragon.
Mr Isaacman was joined by three strangers he had selected - geoscientist and former Nasa astronaut candidate Sian Proctor, 51; physician's assistant and childhood bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, 29; and aerospace data engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski, 42.
"That was a heck of a ride for us," Mr Isaacman radioed shortly after splashdown. "We're just getting started."
Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux, and Chris Sembroski, seen on their first day in space in this handout photo released on September 17, 2021.
image captionJared Isaacman, left, and the rest of the team inside the capsule
Onboard computer systems were in control of their Dragon capsule, overseen by SpaceX teams on the ground.
The Dragon was not scheduled to go near the International Space Station (ISS), instead embarking on a "free flight" to a target altitude of 575km (360 miles).
Cancer survivor joins historic space mission
The successful trip marks the third time Elon Musk's company has taken humans to space and back - and another milestone in the space tourism market.
Earlier this summer, billionaire businessmen Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos also went above Earth's atmosphere in their own space vehicles.