SpaceX launches world’s first space flight with a civilian crew
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
This launch is the biggest achievement in space tourism to this date, as this is the first chartered passenger flight in space. The crew of so-called “amateur astronauts” has been launched on a private flight, which is going to circle the Earth for three days.
Earlier this year, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin made the first civilian flights to the edge of space and swiftly going back to the ground. Elon Musk has topped that by a large margin, as the flight isn’t supposed to just graze the edge of space and return, but rather the crew is going to be soaring above us for three whole days.
Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island, United States
“It blows me away, honestly. It gives me goosebumps even right now to talk about it.” These were the words of Benji Reed, the director of SpaceX, on the eve of the launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39b, Florida, USA
On the flight is 38 years old Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, who is the acting commander of the SpaceX flight Inspiration4. He is the third billionaire to go to space this summer, after Richards Branson and Jeff Bezos.
The young billionaire is joined by Hayley Arceneaux, who is a 29-year-old childhood cancer survivor, who currently works at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, as a physician assistant. She is set to become the youngest American in space, and the first person in space with a prosthesis. Isaacman has donated $100 million of his own money to the hospital where she works and has started a funding campaign for another $100 million.
Inspiration 4 Launch Crew
Alongside them are Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old community college educator in Tempe, Arizona, and Chris Sembroski, a 42-year-old data engineer in Everett, Washington.
The crew is going to be circling around the Earth once every 90 minutes at a speed of more then 28 000 kilometers per hour, at an altitude of 575 kilometers, which is around 160 kilometers higher than the International Space Station.