SpaceX: Elon Musk to send complete novices into space this Wednesday
Steph Deschamps / September 13, 2021
Now it's SpaceX's turn to get into space tourism. A rocket of Elon Musk's company must propel Wednesday four passengers who will spend three days in space, a very ambitious mission that will be the first in history to send into orbit only complete novices, without any professional astronaut.
Called Inspiration4, this mission will conclude a summer marked by the flight of billionaires over the final frontier: first Richard Branson on July 11, aboard the Virgin Galactic spacecraft, then a few days later Jeff Bezos, with his company Blue Origin.
The billionaire tourist of SpaceX will be named Jared Isaacman, 38 years old American, owner of a financial services company and a seasoned pilot.
But he didn't found the company that allowed him to make the trip. He simply rents its services, for a price that was not revealed but that is counted in tens of millions of dollars.
Because the mission has nothing to do with the experience of only a few minutes proposed by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.
This time, the goal is to fly further than the International Space Station (ISS).
Elon Musk's company has already transported no less than ten astronauts to the ISS on behalf of NASA. But they will be the first private passengers to board the Dragon capsule, launched by the Falcon 9 rocket.
In addition to Jared Isaacman, commander on board, three anonymous people will be on board, selected through an original process. Each seat is supposed to embody a value.
Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a survivor of pediatric cancer, represents hope. She will be the first person with a prosthesis to go into space.
One of the donors got the generosity seat: Chris Sembroski, 42, is a former U.S. Air Force officer who now works in the aircraft industry.
The final seat represents prosperity, and was given to Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old Earth science professor who in 2009 came close to becoming an astronaut for NASA. She will be only the fourth African-American woman to go into space.
Liftoff is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast . Another launch opportunity is planned for Thursday if weather conditions permit.
Passengers will take off from the mythical launch pad 39A, at NASA's Kennedy Center in Florida, where the Apollo missions to the Moon took off from.