SpaceX, the company of the always controversial Elon Musk, finalizes the details for what will be the first fully private commercial flight of the company and that will take place at the end of this year. Tech entrepreneur (and billionaire) Jared Isaacman has bought all the tickets for the Crew Dragon ship’s debut in space tourism. But he will not go alone: ​​he will be accompanied by a worker from the St. Jude Children’s Hospital (USA) and two other lucky ones who have not yet been chosen since Isaacman has donated the three remaining tickets from a crew that will undoubtedly make history.

Under the name of “Inspiration 4”, the mission is designed to orbit the Earth for four days and return, although, in the near future, space tourism companies hope that their customers will be able to visit modules of the International Space Station. And its name is no coincidence: according to its benefactor, this project also aims to “inspire the masses to reach the stars” and will therefore raffle two tickets among people who show solidarity or pursue their own business dream.

On the one hand, one of the seats will be raffled among all the people who contribute to a fundraiser to help the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Isaacman hopes to raise at least 200 million dollars (about 166 million euros) with this action, although he has promised to donate 100 million from his own pocket. On the other, a contest has been organized in which Isaacman encourages entrepreneurs to use his business website creation platform and share their “inspiring” business idea through social media. “Start a Shift4Shop and post your inspiring business story on Twitter for the opportunity to secure the seat that represents prosperity,” they explain on the mission’s website, in which they also report that the contest will be open until next 28 February.

The fourth and last ticket already has a name: according to Isaacman himself, St. Jude Hospital has chosen someone from among its workers, although his identity has not yet been made public. During a teleconference picked up by Space.com, Isaacman revealed that the employee is a woman. “And I know that she is waiting for the launch as much as I am,” he said during his speech. “Inspiration 4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step into a future where anyone can venture out and explore the stars,” said Isaacman, who will lead his own mission, as he is an expert aviator as well as an enthusiast. of space travel. I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with leading this mission, and I want to take advantage of this historic moment to inspire humanity and help fight childhood cancer here on Earth.

THE MISSION

Isaacman, 37, will be in command of the “Inspiration 4” mission aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, and there will be no professional astronauts on board. “It will be the first fully private crewed orbital mission in history,” said Musk, who accompanied Isaacman during the press conference in which they shared the details of the next mission. SpaceX will use the Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft, which will lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to spend two to four days circling the Earth and then return in an ocean landing.

The full arc of the mission is still being discussed, although most of the details will be up to Isaacman, according to Musk himself. «The mission is an important milestone to allow access to space for all. In the beginning, things are very expensive, and only through missions like this can we reduce costs over time and make space accessible to everyone.
Proceeds from Inspiration4 will also help SpaceX develop Starship, it’s next-generation transportation system designed to get people and payloads to the Moon this decade and to Mars in the next.