To invade into the growing space tourism industry, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched a crew of four amateur astronauts into orbit. And it is the first entry in the competition for space tourism dollars.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket went into space with four civilians on Wednesday on the first privately funded, non-government trip to orbit, a three-day flight that is devoted to raising $200 million (€100 million) for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The historic three day trip is the first time a spacecraft will have circled the earth with no professional astronauts on board. The four onboard – two contest winners, a health care worker and their billionaire sponsor – will orbit the globe in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule before splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean this weekend.
The trip is made of the billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the mission, were Chris Sembroski, an aerospace engineer; Sian Proctor, an artist-educator who will become only the fourth Black woman to fly in space; and Hayley Arceneaux, a St. Jude cancer survivor who now works at the hospital.
Isaacman who made his fortune by founding a payments processing company in his teens and a health care worker who beat bone cancer as a child.
Elon Masks SpaceX’s launch comes after Two companies Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin launched their first commercial flights in July.