SpaceX to conduct its first space mission with a fully civilian crew later this year

The Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft approaches the orbiting International Space Station.


SpaceX announced Monday that it will launch four private individuals on a Crew Dragon capsule orbiting Earth, dubbed “the world’s first fully civilian mission.” Its launch is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.

The company’s spacecraft will be commissioned by Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments. The mission, known as Inspiration4, aims to increase support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Isaacman is donating the three accompanying mission seats “to the crew members who will be selected to represent the pillars of the mission of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity,” SpaceX said in a statement. Press.

“Inspiration4 is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future that anyone can venture into and explore the stars in. I appreciate the enormous responsibility that comes with this mission and want to take advantage of it. historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to fight childhood cancer here on Earth, ”Isaacman said in a statement.

Isaacman gave St. Jude two of the mission seats, including one “reserved for an ambassador from St. Jude with direct links to the mission.” The fourth and final crew seat will be decided through an online competition running from February 1 to February 28, open to new and existing customers of Isaacman’s Shift4Shop e-commerce platform.

The Inspiration4 crew will undergo SpaceX-led training, during which they will prepare for launch on one of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets. SpaceX said the mission will be a “multi-day trip” around Earth in Crew Dragon.

Elon Musk’s The company has announced several private assignments in recent years, including a deal with Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to steal on the company’s Starship rocket on a trip around the moon in 2023. SpaceX also has space tourism deals with Axiom Space, which aims to transport four people to the International Space Station on a 10-day trip early next year, and Space Adventures, which plans to fly four tourists on a five-day free-flyer trip into orbit by 2022.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stands at the base of a prototype Starship rocket at the company’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas.

Steve Jurvetson on flickr

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