SpaceX launches first space mission with only space tourists at the end of this year jaar

SpaceX plans to launch a Crew Dragon capsule containing four space tourists with a Falcon 9 rocket in the fourth quarter of this year. The mission has no other purpose, making it the first fully commercial space mission.

The flight will be called Inspiration4 and will be paid for by 37-year-old Jared Isaacman, the founder and CEO of payment provider Shift4 Payments. The space journey will take several days and during the flight the Crew Dragon capsule will circle the earth every 90 minutes. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral in Florida and the Crew Dragon landing is to take place on the water off the Florida coast.

Isaacman, who is a pilot himself, will take a seat in the Crew Dragon capsule and there is room for three others. Isaacman wants people to donate money to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and anyone who does so through the Inspiration4 website has a chance to win a seat on the flight. He himself donates 100 million dollars and he hopes to double that with donations from others.

Two of the flight’s four seats were donated to St. Jude. One of these goes to a donor, the other to an ambassador of the children’s hospital. That person has already been selected according to a press release. The fourth seat will go to an entrepreneur to be determined who uses Isaacman’s payment platform.

Inspiration4 participants will receive astronaut training from SpaceX, in which they will learn how to operate the Crew Dragon capsule in weightless condition and how to deal with emergency situations. Stress tests are also part of the curriculum.

SpaceX has always planned to transport space tourists with the Crew Dragon capsule, and last year the company announced its intention to launch four tourists into orbit in late 2021 or early 2022. In 2020, SpaceX launched NASA astronauts with its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station for the first time. Previous Dragon capsules only carried cargo.

SpaceX Crew Dragon