In the fourth quarter of this year, SpaceX wants to launch a Crew Dragon capsule with a Falcon 9 rocket that will contain four space tourists. The mission has no other purpose, making it the first fully commercial space mission.
SpaceX Crew Dragon
The flight will be called Inspiration4 and will be paid for by 37-year-old Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of payment provider Shift4 Payments. The space journey will take several days and during the flight, the Crew Dragon capsule orbits the Earth every 90 minutes. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral in Florida and the landing of the Crew Dragon should take place on the water off the coast of Florida.
Isaacman, who is a pilot himself, will take a seat in the Crew Dragon capsule and there is room for three more. Isaacman wants people to donate money to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and anyone who does so through the Inspiration4 website has a shot at a flight seat. He himself donates $ 100 million and hopes to double that with donations from others.
Two of the flight’s four seats have been 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 goes to an entrepreneur to be determined who uses the Isaacman payment platform.
The participants of Inspiration4 receive astronaut training from SpaceX, in which they 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 stated that it planned to launch four tourists into orbit by the end of 2021 or early 2022. In 2020, SpaceX launched NASA astronauts for the first time with its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. Previous Dragon capsules only carried cargo.