SpaceX announces first commercial astronaut mission to orbit Earth

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Feb 02, 2021, 09.20 AM(IST)

SpaceX Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

US billionaire Jared Isaacman, who will be the space commander for this mission is paying for the entire flight, plans to take three people along with him. He aims to use the multi-day trip to raise $200 million for a hospital

Elon Musk's SpaceX on Tuesday announced the first commercial astronaut mission to orbit Earth aboard Dragon spacecraft.

According to SpaceX, this mission will enable access for ''everyday people who dream of going to space''.

US billionaire Jared Isaacman, who will be the space commander for this mission is paying for the entire flight, plans to take three people along with him. He aims to use the multi-day trip to raise $200 million for St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee.

The four crew members will receive ''emergency preparedness'' training on SpaceX's Falcon 9  and Dragon spacecraft before blasting off Kennedy Space Station in Florida. 

Also read: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are fighting against each other over space real estate

The Dragon spacecraft is capable of carrying up to seven passengers to and from Earth orbit, and beyond. It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth and is the first private spacecraft to take humans to the space station.

“It will be the first mission to fly two international partner crew members as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program,” NASA announced.

The announcement comes after billionaire Jeff Bezos-owned space company Blue Origin said it aims to carry the first passengers on its New Shepard space vehicle as early as April.

Also read: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches a rocket that could fly first space passengers by April

Blue Origin completed the fourteenth test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule on Thursday, marking one of the last remaining steps before the company flies its first crew to space, the report said.

It said that it aims to launch the second test flight within six weeks, or by late February, and the first crewed flight six weeks after that, or by early April.

Bezos aims to provide government and private customers low-cost access to space, though he trails rival billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Earlier this month, Elon Musk, the outspoken and envelope-pushing founder and CEO of Tesla, overtook Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to become the world's wealthiest person

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