For the first time, four people who are all civilians with no aeronautic or space experience will fly to space on Wednesday night, September 15, billionaire Elon Musk’s space exploration company, SpaceX have announced
The commander of the flight, Jared Isaacman is the founder and billionaire CEO of Shift4 Payments and he will be joined in the flight by Hayley Arceneaux, and geoscientist Sian Proctor.
It’s the latest step in the commercialization of space and comes after Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson launched space missions in recent months with their space companies.
By going into orbit, the crew of four will travel further into space than the recent space journey of Blue Origin which had Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos on board.
It has not been disclosed how much Isaacman paid to SpaceX for him and the crew to get sent into space.
The mission, dubbed Inspiration4, will help support Isaacman’s goal to raise $200 million to help cure children’s cancer. While in orbit, the crew will also conduct research “designed to advance human health on Earth and during future long-duration spaceflights,” according to SpaceX.
The launch is set to take place from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The five hour launch window begins Wednesday evening. The astronauts will land off the coast of Florida approximately three days later.
SpaceX say the Inspiration4 crew has completed centrifuge training, simulations, observing other SpaceX launches, zero-gravity plane training, altitude training, classroom training and medical testing, since March in preparation for Wednesday’s flight.
“This focused preparation was essential in team development and being ready to execute their role as the first commercial crew to orbit the Earth,” the Inspiration4 website says.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft largely functions on its own and doesn’t require much human input to operate, hence the decision of the company not to allow pilots or aeronautic engineers on board.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars