Follow Dragon SpaceX Tracker Shows Where Inspiration4 Space Crew Is Above Earth

SpaceX made history on Wednesday when its Falcon 9 rocket carried Inspiration4, the first all-civilian space mission, to a low-Earth orbit. Space enthusiasts can follow the mission as it passes over the planet with a SpaceX tracking tool.

The lift-off of the Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, in Merritt Island, Florida, at 8:02 pm EDT was live-streamed across several platforms including the SpaceX YouTube channel, where it can be replayed.

The four civilian astronauts—Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Hayley Arceneaux, and Christopher Sembroski—will travel around Earth at an altitude of around 370 miles and a speed 22 times that of sound in a Crew Dragon Resilience (Dragon C207) spacecraft. The three-day mission will see the crew orbit the Earth roughly once every 90 minutes.

According to the mission's official website that orbit will see the capsule, which is 27 feet tall and 13 feet in diameter, eclipse about 90 percent of the world's population. From Earth, we can track the Dragon capsule using the SpaceX Follow Dragon tracking tool.

At 3 a.m. EDT the capsule was traveling over the Atlantic Ocean away from North America on a trajectory that saw it pass the eastern coast of Brazil at 3:07 a.m. EDT. The tracker gave its altitude as 363 miles above the Earth's surface, which the website said was both higher than the International Space Station (260 miles), and the Hubble Space Telescope (335 miles).

"This is significant and historic because it's going to be the highest that any humans have gone into orbit since the Hubble servicing missions," SpaceX senior director of human spaceflight, Benji Reed, said during a Q&A with the SpaceX crew on Tuesday. "Another historic part for SpaceX is that this will be the first time that we have three Dragons on orbit."

The capsule is due to splash down to Earth this weekend. Before that, it may be possible to see the mission from Earth.

Royal Astronomical Society vice president Paul Daniels told The Independent that because of the craft's large size, reflective white color, and its low-Earth orbit, it could "in principle" be bright enough to spot.

While in space, the Inspiration4 crew will perform a battery of scientific experiments and medical tests, including measuring the effects of microgravity on the outcomes.

The mission's primary goal is to raise money and awareness for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. It has currently raised over $31.4 million, with a goal of $100 million, according to the mission's website. Isaacman, a billionaire who funded the mission, has also given $100 million.

Inspiration4 Launch
The historic all civilian Inspiration4 mission launches from Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday. Space fans can follow the mission from SpaceX's Dragon Tracker John Kraus/Inspiration4