Editor’s note: SpaceX’s Inspiration4 crew Q&A will begin at 4: 40 pm ET today, Sept. 14, in the window above.
SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission is ready to launch to Earth orbit on Wednesday (Sept. 15), and you can watch the historic liftoff live.
The launch webcast will start on SpaceX’s YouTube channel Wednesday at 3: 45 p.m. EDT (1945 GMT) and will also stream here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX. The five-hour launch window at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida opens at 8: 02 p.m. EDT (0002 GMT on Thursday, Sept. 16).
You also have a chance to virtually meet the four crewmembers of Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to Earth orbit, during a press conference today (Sept. 14) at 4: 40 p.m. EDT (2040 GMT). That event will also air on SpaceX’s YouTube channel and on Space.com.
Flying into space will be billionaire Shift4 Payments founder Jared Isaacman (who booked the mission and paid for all the seats); physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux; geoscientist, analog astronaut and science communicator Sian Proctor; and engineer Chris Sembroski. Arceneaux came on board through a personal invitation from Isaacman, while Proctor and Sembroski won Inspiration4-related contests.
Full details about the Inspiration4 mission are available in this Space.com explainer discussing the crew biographies and their goals for the three-day mission.
If the launch is delayed for any reason, a backup opportunity is available opening at 8: 05 p.m. EDT on Thursday (Sept. 16; 0005 GMT on Friday, Sept. 17), Inspiration4 representatives wrote in a recent press release. Weather conditions are currently 70% favorable for Wednesday’s prime launch window.
The cargo for Inspiration4 will include a suite of health-related experiments, fitting in with the mission’s greater theme to raise awareness and money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule launching Wednesday will also include a few other unique items, such as a Martin Guitar ukulele that Sembroski will play in space, and a never-before-released performance of “Time in Disguise,” a song from the Grammy Award-winning rock band Kings of Leon.
The performance is going into orbit as a non-fungible token (NFT), which is a virtual item that can be sold on certain marketplaces. The crew also plans to fly 50 art NFTs from 50 different artists and several other space-related things, listed here.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.
Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for Space.com who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.