The American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX expects to conduct the first all-civilian spaceflight in history in late 2021 when 4 crew members will fly into orbit aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
The two out of 4 seats of a private SpaceX flight into orbit have already been given to two US-citizen astronauts priorly. The two new passengers of the historical flight will be a community college geoscience professor Sian Proctor and a former US Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski. All four citizen astronauts onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule will participate in a three-day Inspiration4 mission into orbit.
The special space operation into orbit is expected to be launched no earlier than September 15, 2021, as it was announced during a news briefing conducted by the sponsor of mission Jared Isaacman and SpaceX human spaceflight chief Benji Reed. While assuming the leading role of operation, Isaacman will also be one of the astronauts of a three-day Inspiration4 mission.
“When this mission is complete, people are going to look at it and say this was the first time that everyday people could go to space,” Issaacman told the media. According to him, the mission is partly driven by charitable cause as Issaacmanhas already pledged $100 million to the US pediatric cancer center St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
In February 2021, Isaacman appointed Haley Arceneaux, a bone cancer survivor and onetime patient at the Tennessee-based hospital, to be the second crew member in the first all-civilian spaceflight in history. Meanwhile, the freshly announced third crew member Chris Sembroski was selected through a lottery that offered a chance to fly to space. The citizen-astronaut donated $113 million to the cancer center.
Another participant of the Inspiration4 mission Sian Proctor was chosen through an online contest conducted by Shift4 Payments, a credit card processing company run by Isaacman.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule which will take the astronauts into orbit is currently parked at the International Space Station for NASA. For the Inspiration4 mission, it will be outfitted with a domed window in place of the usual space station docking mechanism for the special operation.