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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.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios