Mission Completed: SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Success

And we had liftoff.

On Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 8:02 p.m. ET, SpaceX’s Resilience, a type of reusable spacecraft categorized under the interesting moniker “Crew Dragon,” launched from the John F. Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, for a three-day excursion in low-Earth orbit, 364 miles above the Earth’s surface. 

On the evening of Saturday, September 18, it landed as planned in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, off the Florida coast.

Founded and owned by centibillionaire Elon Musk, SpaceX is the third private aerospace company this year to successfully complete a flight into outer space, behind richest-man-in-the-world Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and English billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

In the currently trending realm of private spaceflight, SpaceX’s mission, titled Inspiration4, broke a lot of records, most notably as the first spaceflight in orbit “without a professional astronaut aboard.” Its cupola, a lookout dome measuring “46 inches in diameter and 18 inches high,” was “the largest window ever flown in space.” And compared to its competitors, Inspiration4 went higher—even higher than the International Space Station, which orbits at around 220 miles above Earth—and lasted longer—for days, not just hours. 


The Tomorrowland of Space Tourism

The mission would not have been possible but for Jared Isaacman, a businessman who didn’t finish high school but made billions with payment processing company Shift4 Payments. A well-seasoned jet pilot, Isaacman funded Inspiration4 as a charity haul for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, “[donating] three open seats on the flight to members of the public.”

Along for the ride was Hayley Arceneaux, a St. Jude’s physician’s assistant who beat bone cancer there at age 10. Christopher Sembroski claimed his spot by becoming the ultimate recipient of a winning lottery ticket, given out by St. Jude’s and won by his friend, who decided to pass “for personal reasons.” The fourth seat went to geology professor Dr. Sian Proctor as the prize in a competition put out by Shift4.

When the civilian team was not watching the world literally go by “every 90 minutes,” they were playing the ukulele, making art, and taking a phone call from Tom Cruise, who is looking to shoot on location in outer space. The quartet also spent time on a video call with St. Jude patients and participating in “carefully selected research experiments on human health and performance.

But even more so, Inspiration4 played a role in SpaceX’s bigger ambition. As the company’s space operations director Kris Young quipped, “Your mission has shown the world that space is for all of us.”

Musk has publicized his express purpose of preserving the human race from extinction through space tourism.His ultimate plan to colonize Mars has sparked ridicule, controversy, and—among his supporters—a drive to achieve. 

Inspiration4 was heavily promoted in an effort to begin normalizing the concept of intergalactic travel. The civilian crew found itself on the cover of Time, ringing the closing bell for the New York Stock Exchange, and headlining a Netflix documentary series.

Will the world reach a fever pitch of space tourism? Discovery Channel plans to premiere a new reality TV show entitled “Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?” And Cruise has competition in the upcoming Russian flick “The Challenge,” filming aboard the space station as soon as next month. Is the human race to pioneer the lofty heights of the Solar System as we once did the vast expanse of the New World?


The Future of the Human Race

The next frontier may sound thrilling, but a Bible student might also recognize the resemblance to another dragon who desired “in [his] heart … [to] ascend into heaven, … above the heights of the clouds” (Isaiah 14:13, 14), past the space station, past the Moon, past Mars. This dragon is no manmade spacecraft; the book of Revelation identifies him as “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan” (12:9), who wants nothing more than to “be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).

His most loyal servant, the Antichrist, is described in kind, “[sitting] as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Another of its symbols, the little horn, was similarly prophesied to have “[grown] up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them. He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host” (Daniel 8:10, 11). Its end-time manifestation, known in Scripture as Babylon, likewise has crowed “in [her] heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me’” (Isaiah 47:10).

It’s not just the literal effort to “ascend into” the cosmos above; it’s the elevation of heart emphatically insisting that one can save oneself. Are we not just constructing the next generation’s Tower of Babel, whose postdiluvian survivors thought to prevent extinction (Genesis 11:4) despite God’s promise that “never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth” (9:11)? After all, Babel is the origin of the name “Babylon.” For a thorough account of the significance of Babylon, take a look at Pastor Doug Batchelor’s article “The Last Tower of Babel.

And for a deeper understanding of what the future of the human race will really be, check out our free video presentation “Return of the King.” Ultimately, God has already prophesied our end. And no matter what the human mind devises, no matter the plotting of the devil, God’s Word will come to pass. Let us instead get ready for that most spectacular mission. 

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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