SpaceX’s Resilience Crew Dragon capsule splashed down safely in the Atlantic off Cape Canaveral Saturday evening, capping a three-day orbital mission carrying an all-civilian crew. The Inspiration4 mission, with space rookies Commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski, orbited the planet as high as 400 miles. “Thanks so much SpaceX, that was a heck of a ride for us and we’re just getting started!” Isaacman said from the spacecraft as recovery boats raced toward it.

Isaacman, a billionaire businessman, paid for the flight and used it as a fundraiser for St. Jude, a hospital for child cancer patients. The flight raised more than $50 million in individual donations and Isaacman is chipping in another $100 million of his own. Pilot Proctor became the first black female to fly a spacecraft and Arceneaux became the youngest astronaut. It was the third successful crewed mission for SpaceX and the capsule was previously used in the first mission.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. NOW we’re getting somewhere.
    The suborbital flights are a step but getting real people (albeit wealthy, or subsidized) into orbit is an exciting advancement. I’m surprised there didn’t seem to be as much media hype leading up to this one as there was for the previous sub-orbitals.

    Finally it looks like we might actually be becoming a spacefaring species. Very cool.

  2. Surprised there were not more “sour grapes” comments from various government agencies, although there were several snide media comments probably as a result of interviews with government weenies. Remember the Alien movie series where it was private enterprise who were doing all the space work being run by corporations with evil for-profit motives? But then again we do have Boeing so it is obvious that private enterprise can also screw things up in space.

  3. Kudos to Space X. Agree… when private parties can successfully launch w/ passengers (and non-astrnt ‘pilot) & recover w/no issues it’s a large and impressive step for both AI and for spave programs (public & private). Yes, I am impressed.