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13th Sep 2021

SpaceX to launch first all-civilian crew into orbit

Kieran Galpin

SpaceX is going where no tourist has been before.

The first all-civilian crew is set to launch into space on Wednesday aboard a SpaceX rocketship.

Jared Isaacman, the CEO and founder of e-commerce platform Shift4 Payments, and three other space newbies are set to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Reuters reports.

The 38-year-old tech giant has contributed an unspecified amount of money to Elon Musk’s bank account to fly himself and three others into orbit aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

While, billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, have already jetted into space, this launch is the first of its kind. Dependent on its success, the launch could usher in a new form of tourism, and of course, another revenue stream for whoever has a space rocket lying around.

Isaacman is primarily using this venture to raise awareness for his favourite cause, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for which he has already personally pledged $100 million.

“While a historic journey awaits us in space, I hope this mission reinforces how far inspiration can take us and the extraordinary achievements it leads to here on Earth.” Isaacman tweeted of the groundbreaking mission.

Over recent months, the race to space has picked up, with key players being Amazon’s Bezos, Virgin’s Branson, and Tesla’s Musk. Though Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have also ventured into the unknown in recent months, Musk is taking his own flight one step further.

Where Branson and Bezos were only in space for a matter of minutes, Musk is putting these space-age tourists where no everyday-joe has been before – Earth’s orbit!

Once contained by Earth’s gravitational field they will circle the globe once every 90 minutes at more than 17,000 miles per hour, which roughly equates to 22 times the speed of sound. They hope to reach an altitude of 575 kilometres (360 Miles) which is beyond the orbits of both the International Space Station and the Hubble Telescope.