First-ever civilian SpaceX flight to blast-off by end of 2021

Shutterstock / Evgeniyjqw

Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to launch the first all-civilian charity-focused flight into Earth’s orbit at the end of 2021.

The first confirmed passenger aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman. He will command the multi-day mission into Earth’s orbit, known as Inspiration4. Isaacman seeks to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital by donating the three accompanying seats on the mission “to crew members who will be selected to represent the mission pillars of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity,” revealed SpaceX in a press release.

“Inspiration4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars. I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth,” Isaacman was cited in a statement.

Two seats on the mission were given to the St. Jude hospital, one dedicated “to a frontline healthcare worker” and another to be granted to the most generous donor at the fundraising campaign. The fourth seat will go to the winning customer of the competition organized by Isaacman’s business Shift4 Payments.

In the next month, the confirmed crew should begin the preparatory training for the flight. During the training, led by SpaceX, the crew will prepare for launch in one of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets. The training will include emergency preparedness, microgravity training and space suit training, according to the press release.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft named Resilience will be used for the mission. The spacecraft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time on November 16, 2020.


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