Feb 1, 2021 - Science

SpaceX flight will be the first all-civilian mission to space

The streak of a rocket with stars in the background at night

A crewed SpaceX rocket streaks to orbit. Photo: SpaceX

Billionaire Jared Isaacman has effectively chartered a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule for the first all-civilian mission to orbit, expected to launch later this year.

Why it matters: The mission is ringing in a new era of commercial spaceflight, one where those with the means can make their orbital dreams a reality without involving government spacecraft.

Details: Anyone can enter a raffle to win a seat aboard the four-person flight, and another seat will go to a St. Jude ambassador. The money raised will go to the hospital.

  • The last remaining seat will go to the winner of a "Shark Tank"-style contest, according to the New York Times.
  • "I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth," Isaacman said in a statement.

The big picture: Last week, Axiom Space announced its crew for the company's first mission to the International Space Station, with an expected launch early in 2022.

  • That mission will also launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon with four crew members.
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