STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION
Jared Isaacman, commander of the Inspiration4 mission, trains in a Crew Dragon simulator at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Credit: SpaceX
The Inspiration4 crew members wrapped up their third and final day in orbit Saturday and set their sights on an automated plunge back to Earth, a steep descent to an evening splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Canaveral to wrap up a history-making flight.
If all goes well, the SpaceX Crew Dragon’s flight computer will fire the ship’s Draco braking rockets at 6:16 p.m. EDT, slowing the capsule enough to lower the far side of the orbit into the atmosphere for a southwest-to-northeast descent across Central America and the Florida peninsula.
Heralded by sonic booms, the capsule is expected to splash down under four large parachutes at 7:06 p.m. EDT about 30 miles northeast of the crew’s Kennedy Space Center launch site, closing out the first all-civilian privately-funded flight to orbit in space history.
Expected mission duration: 71 hours and three minutes.
Billionaire commander Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Chris Sembroski and Hayley Arceneaux plan to remain inside their capsule until after recovery crews haul the spacecraft aboard SpaceX’s “Go ...