How to keep track of Inspiration4’s progress while in orbit

inspiration4 liftoff

Wednesday night we witnessed the first all civilian crew launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. Over the next three days, they will perform research and enjoy the views of Earth from an altitude of 580 km. Learn how to track Inspiration4’s Dragon spacecraft throughout their flight.

Track Inspiration4’s Dragon as it orbits Earth

While we won’t be getting continuous live coverage of the flight like NASA’s missions to the International Space Station. We have gotten some pretty awesome footage so far and expect plenty more after the crew comes back.

One of the coolest things about SpaceX’s Dragon is if the conditions are right, you can see it with the naked eye. Usually, you would need to use tools for tracking TLEs (Two Line Elements) to track Inspiration4’s Dragon, but SpaceX has already put in the work. The company has updated its website with a live tracker of Dragon Resilience on their website.

Conditions for good viewing would be areas with low light pollution (so outside major cities) and a time just after sunset or just before sunrise. With a little bit of luck, you may see the faint light of the sun reflecting off the spacecraft as it passes overhead. If you missed it, don’t worry you can try to spot the Space Station, which is much larger, brighter, and will be in orbit much longer than Inspiration4.

While no official splashdown date has been released yet, based on flight restrictions filed with the FAA it shows a possible splashdown as early as 6:50 p.m. EDT on Saturday off the coast of Florida. SpaceX has landing zones for Dragon on both coasts of Florida, and we won’t see which will be used until Inspiration4 has conducted its deorbit burn. If you want to try seeing the Inspiration4 Dragon then you should give it a try soon.

Featured Image: Jared Locke / Space Explored

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