At least one of the Inspiration4 crewmembers will be munching on cold pizza as she zooms around Earth this week.
Inspiration4, the first-ever all-civilian mission to Earth orbit, is scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tonight (Sept. 15) at 8:02 p.m EDT (0102 GMT on Sept. 16) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch the historic liftoff live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company.
Inspiration4 was booked and paid for by billionaire entrepreneur Jared Isaacman. The flight will send him, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski to orbit for three days aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
“It’s gonna be fun,” Sembroski, a data engineer from Washington state, said during a prelaunch news conference Tuesday (Sept. 14).
“It’s like an extended camping trip,” he said. “You’re in a camper van with some of your closest friends for three days. You roll out the sleeping bags at night, just like any other camping trip, and just strap yourself in so you don’t float into each other during the middle of the night.”
There won’t be s’mores on Inspiration4 — at least not any with campfire-toasted marshmallows. (Fires inside a spacecraft are a bad idea.) But the crewmembers will eat well in orbit, each of them getting their own requested comfort foods.
“The cold pizza better be packed, because that was my order,” Proctor, a geoscientist and science communicator who lives in Arizona, said during yesterday’s media event.
“You know, food and mood is so important,” she added. “So I think for us, it was really important working with SpaceX to get food that made us feel comfortable and that we could eat. And they’ve done a great job of accommodating that, because I think we’re all really happy.”
“The food’s gonna be great,” Sembroski agreed, without identifying his chosen comfort food.
Dining will be a communal experience for the Inspiration4 crewmembers, as will pretty much everything else during their three days in orbit. Privacy will be hard to come by, which is where the camping analogy breaks down a bit.
Unlike campers here on Earth, Isaacman and his colleagues won’t be able to find a secluded spot to do their business. The location of Crew Dragon’s toilet provides some consolation, however.
“It’s not a ton of privacy. But you do have this kind of privacy curtain that cuts across the top of the spacecraft, so you can kind of separate yourself from everyone else,” Isaacman told Insider in July. “And that also happens to be where the glass cupola is. So, you know, when people do inevitably have to use the bathroom, they’re going to have one hell of a view.”
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.