2021 has been an astronomical year for space. In July, two private spaceflights took civilians into suborbital space: first Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity and two weeks later, Blue Origin’s New Shepherd. Both founded and funded by some of Earth’s richest men, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, the billionaire space race has begun. But there is nothing more exciting to space fans than Elon Musk’s mission. “How It Happened: The Next Astronauts” is following SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission which will be the first space flight to orbit without professional astronauts.
Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer started in this position in 2012, the year after the end of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. For nearly 40 years, NASA went back and forth to the International Space Station with the Space Shuttle. Astronauts trained for years to be a part of this program and become just a small percentage of people who would leave the Earth’s atmosphere. And now, “How It Happened: The Next Astronauts” is looking at The Next Astronauts of Inspiration4, all of which are just a few ordinary people.
In February of 2021, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a stunning announcement: that four civilians would be sent into orbit for three days in a mere seven months. Just as they do everything, SpaceX’s mission was produced fast. SpaceX was the first private company to send NASA astronauts into space, to reload the ISS, and it will now be the first to send civilians into orbit.
Kramer brings us into the mission: conversing with mission commander and billionaire benefactor Jared Isaacman. He relays everything behind the commissioning and designing of this groundbreaking mission. She also introduces us to the three other civilians who will joining him in space, which will feature the first Black female pilot of a spacecraft and the first person in space with a prosthesis.
While we look into the sky on September 15 of this year to watch the launch, many will do so with worry, the memory of The Challenger‘s 1986 demise still haunting. Had the mission been successful, teacher Christa McAuliffe would have been the first civilian in space. Instead, it will be Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Christopher Sembroski, who know what success will mean to the world.
And all of SpaceX is beyond hopeful for Inspiration4’s success! With this mission, SpaceX is displaying the future of space travel. It will be pivotal for the industry: success indicates a quickening stride into space, while failure could push space travel back decades.
“How It Happened: The Next Astronauts” is going behind the scenes at SpaceX to prepare for the launch of Inspiration4. Go straight to the biggest players themselves – talking to crew members, mission commander, senior SpaceX leadership and more. See just how we are planning on sending the first ever all civilian crew into space, and what it will mean for the future of space travel.