SpaceX flies four tourists into space for three days – without professional escort
Elon Musk and his company SpaceX brought four space tourists into space for the first time – without the accompaniment of trained space travelers. The vacationers stay in weightlessness for three days. Among the tourists are a billionaire and a young woman with an impressive history.
OWithout the presence of a professional astronaut, four tourists took off into space for the first time with the US space company SpaceX from Tesla founder Elon Musk. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday morning (CEST).
The space capsule it transports into space flies largely automatically and is to remain in orbit for three days. Meanwhile, three Chinese astronauts completed their country’s longest manned mission in space.
Around twelve minutes after take-off, the “Crew Dragon” space capsule with the four US passengers detached itself from the second stage of the rocket. It should be up to 575 kilometers from Earth and thus further than the International Space Station ISS. After their three-day excursion, the space tourists are supposed to land off the coast of Florida.
Billionaire: “Many Will Follow”
Billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the flight, said, “Few took off before us and many will follow.” SpaceX has not disclosed how much money the 38-year-old paid for the flight – but the price is likely to be in the tens of millions . With him there are three more passengers on board the mission named “Inspiration4”.
His three fellow travelers were selected as part of a competition and accompanied for a Netflix documentary. After surviving cancer as a child, 29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux is the youngest American woman to fly in orbit. Chris Sembroski, 42, is a US Air Force veteran and Sian Proctor, 51, is a geoscientist who was nearly selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009.
One goal of the mission is to collect donations equivalent to around 170 million euros for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Arceneaux was treated as a child in the facility in the US state of Tennessee and now works there as a medical assistant. The passengers took various items such as a ukulele and hops for brewing space beer, which will later be auctioned off.
“The launch of # Inspiration4 reminds us of what we can achieve when we work with the private sector,” wrote Nasa CEO Bill Nelson. Musk’s company is NASA’s preferred transportation partner.
Jeff Bezos was also in space
Former US President Michelle Obama also congratulated the space tourists. “They inspire us all with their courage, their curiosity and their passion,” she wrote on Twitter. “I think of all the young people who look up to this crew and have big dreams thanks to them.”
In July, the British billionaire Richard Branson and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos flew into space with their private space companies Virgin Galactic and Blue Orgin. SpaceX has already brought ten astronauts to the ISS space station on behalf of the US space agency NASA, but has not yet transported any space tourists.
The current mission “Inspiration4” goes much further than the flights of Virgin Galactic and Blue Orgin, where the passengers were only a few minutes in space.
Meanwhile, China announced the successful completion of its longest manned mission in space to date. After 90 days on the Tiangong space station, three Taikonauts made their way home to Earth on Thursday. Your return is expected on Friday, as the state broadcaster China Aerospace reported. Space travel is one of the prestige projects of the Chinese leadership.