After Branson and Bezos, the next billionaire has launched into space. Jared Isaacman rented a “Dragon” spaceship and took three passengers with him.
Cape Canaveral – Shortly before the start of the first all mission without professional astronauts on board, the control center of the space company SpaceX reported again to the four passengers.
“Today you really inspire the world,” came the loudspeakers. “Have a good trip!” A few minutes later, the “Dragon” space capsule lifted off into Earth orbit on Wednesday evening (local time) with the help of a “Falcon 9” rocket from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida. “The views are spectacular,” cheered the 38-year-old US billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the “Dragon” for the all trip.
Billionaires in space
The start of the space tourism mission called “Inspiration4” was “a significant milestone in striving to make space accessible for everyone,” commented the US space agency Nasa, which provided the launch infrastructure but was not otherwise involved, via a short message service Twitter. SpaceX speaks of the “first mission to orbit the earth with only laypersons” – there is no trained professional astronaut on board, the capsule flies largely automatically.
Isaacman is already the third billionaire in a few months to venture into space from the United States. In July, the British Richard Branson and about ten days later Amazon founder Jeff Bezos tested their own spaceships for the first time – but both only with short excursions of a few minutes. Neither he nor SpaceX wanted to reveal how much Isaacman paid to charter the “Dragon” spaceship.
The “Dragon” is now to orbit the earth for around three days – every 90 minutes at around 30,000 kilometers per hour and at around 580 kilometers above the earth, even higher than the International Space Station (ISS). In addition to Isaacman, the 29-year-old medical assistant Hayley Arceneaux, who had conquered bone cancer as a child, the 51-year-old artist and professor Sian Proctor and the 41-year-old aerospace engineer Chris Sembrosk are on board.
Isaacman selected the fellow travelers through various charity campaigns because he wants to collect donations for a children’s hospital in the US state of Tennessee with the mission. During the all-excursion, which is also being documented on the Netflix streaming service, the four passengers will also carry out scientific experiments.
“Our crew is responsible and knows the importance of this mission,” Isaacman said shortly before the start. “We have prepared ourselves well for the challenges of the next three days and are looking forward to sharing our experience with the world.” Dpa