Elon Musk’s SpaceX has announced that later this year it will launch the world’s first civilian space flight.
The flight will take place aboard one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules, attached to the Falcon 9 rocket. It will launch from SpaceX’s 39A site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in the last quarter of 2020.
The mission, dubbed the Inspiration4, will be headed by CEO of Shift4 Payments, Jared Isaacman, who is also a pilot. The purpose of the mission is to raise $US200,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Isaacson is encouraging people to donate $US10 for a chance to get picked for the crew.
According to Newswire, Isaacman is donating two crew seats to the St Jude’s cause and one to an entrepreneur and people will be selected based on the mission pillars of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity.
Isaacman said in a press call that the crew will be announced in the coming weeks and they will receive training from SpaceX. This will include training in orbital mechanics, microgravity operation and zero gravity.
“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 said.
“Today’s announcement is the first step of a very exciting journey. In the lead-up to launch, we’ll share new ways to support and follow our mission preparation and execution with a focus on inspiring and helping others.”
Once the mission launches, the Crew Dragon will spend up to five days orbiting earth along a customised flight path.
This is not the first civilian flight that SpaceX has announced. Just last week U.S. space tourism company, Axiom Space, said it would be sending several private citizens to space in early 2022 aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.
The tickets will cost $US55 million each and will go to the International Space Station.