After Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, Elon Musk is also sending space tourists: inside into space. He doesn’t fly with you himself – but the “Inspiration4” mission sets standards.
Kennedy Space Center – Much has been reported in recent months about billionaires flying into space for a few minutes, heralding the age of space tourism. This means Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos. However, one name has rarely been mentioned on this topic: Elon Musk. He is the only one of the three billionaires active in space travel who has not yet flown into space himself. It will probably stay that way for the time being, nothing is known of Musk’s current plans. Nevertheless, Elon Musk is about to outdo Jeff Bezos (has been around 11 minutes in space) and Richard Branson (has been around 5 minutes in space so far).
Musk’s space company SpaceX also wants to send a private mission into space for the first time on September 15, 2021 – but the mission called “Inspiration4” should be very different from the short flights from Bezos and Branson. The crew capsule should not just make a short detour into space, but circle the earth for three days. On board: four people, none of whom are professional astronauts. Another billionaire initiated the mission: Jared Isaacman, an experienced pilot and adventurer, paid for the rocket launch and will be on board himself. He is accompanied by three people whom he himself has chosen – partly as part of a competition.
SpaceX’s “Inspiration4” mission: Elon Musk heralds space tourism
The billionaires who have so far flown into space have received a lot of criticism and, among other things, they have been scolded for using their assets to buy flights into space while there are countless unsolved problems on earth. In order to refute this criticism from the outset, the “Inspiration4” mission is linked to a fundraising campaign: the aim is to collect as much money as possible for the US children’s hospital St. Jude in Memphis, which specializes in childhood cancer. Isaacman himself wrote the first check for $ 100 million. “I want to seize this historic moment and inspire humanity while I help fight cancer in children here on earth,” said the billionaire when he presented his project in the spring.
|Rocket:||Falcon 9 from SpaceX|
|Capsule:||Crew Dragon from SpaceX|
|Crew:||4 people (Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Chris Sembroski, Dr. Sian Proctor)|
|Mission objective:||Go around the world and collect donations|
SpaceX’s “Inspiration4” mission is designed to give hope and inspire
In addition to Isaacman, three other people will be present on the “Inspiration4” mission: Hayley Arceneaux was a patient at St. Jude’s hospital as a child and was cured of bone cancer there. Now she works there and gives the little patient courage with her story as a cancer survivor. At the age of 29, Arceneaux will be the youngest woman to fly into space – the record as the youngest person in space was recently snatched from her nose by 18-year-old Oliver Daemen from the Netherlands. However, Arceneaux will be the first person to fly into space with a prosthesis. Chris Sembroski and Dr. Sian Proctor. The geoscientist and science communicator Proctor will only be the fourth black woman in space, as she herself has discovered with astonishment. Proctor and Sembroski won their places in the SpaceX crew capsule in a competition.
For the “Inspiration4” mission, a relatively diverse team has come together that will take off on September 15, unaccompanied by professional space travelers, with a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX – from a very historic location. Launch site 39a in the Kennedy Space Center in Florida was the launch site from which all “Apollo” missions to the moon set off and from which the legendary space shuttles later started. Back then, only highly qualified astronauts were allowed to fly inside after long training, the “Inspiration4” mission now wants to show that flights into space can now be reached by anyone. “I hope this mission shows how far inspiration can take us and what it has already achieved on earth,” said Isaacman on the mission’s website.
Space tourism: SpaceX and Elon Musk send four lay space travelers: inside into space
Elon Musk, on the other hand, has so far held back noticeably. After all, it is not the first astronautical flight of his company SpaceX. A “Crew Dragon” capsule from the company has already flown three times with an astronaut: Inside on board to the ISS, the next flight to the ISS commissioned by NASA is scheduled to start in October – with the German astronaut Matthias Maurer on board. The only new thing about the “Inspiration4” mission is that this time, instead of experts, there are tourists on board and the capsule does not fly to the ISS, but circles the earth.
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The astronauts: inside the “Inspiration4” mission should not be the last tourists on board a SpaceX space capsule: The company Axiom Space has booked several flights for private tours to the International Space Station ISS with SpaceX. On the first flight, which is scheduled to leave for the ISS in January 2022 at the earliest, a space will cost 55 million US dollars according to reports – so space flights with SpaceX are far from being reachable and affordable for everyone. (Tanja Banner)