SpaceX set to launch its first commercial astronaut flight this year

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SpaceX is planning to launch its first commercial astronaut flight “no earlier than the fourth quarter” of 2021. Mr Musk’s firm is offering the everyday person the opportunity to get into space onboard a Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Inspiration4 mission.

Once the individuals, of which there can be four per journey, are in space, they will orbit Earth over a “multi-day journey”.

When in space, the craft will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, giving the ordinary person a chance to see views which have so far been limited to a few selected astronauts.

The first flight will be led by tech entrepreneur and pilot Jared Isaacman, in a mission dedicated to the St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Mr Isaacman is donating $100million (£72million) to the research foundation, with another of the seats being offered to a frontline worker from St Jude.

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Another person joining the mission will be an entrepreneur from Shift4Shop – a platform which helps people launch their businesses.

The final seat will go to an individual who donates to the St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, with all donators going into a prize draw for the seat.

However, only US-based participants will be considered.

SpaceX said: “Today, it was announced SpaceX is targeting no earlier than the fourth quarter of this year for Falcon 9’s launch of Inspiration4 – the world’s first all-commercial astronaut mission to orbit – from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, is donating the three seats alongside him aboard Dragon to individuals from the general public who will be announced in the weeks ahead.

“Learn more on how to potentially join this historic journey to space by visiting

“The Inspiration4 crew will receive commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, and other forms of stress testing.

“They will go through emergency preparedness training, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises, as well as partial and full mission simulations.

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“This multi-day journey, orbiting Earth every 90 minutes along a customized flight path, will be carefully monitored at every step by SpaceX mission control.

“Upon conclusion of the mission, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.”

SpaceX heralded the announcement on its Twitter page, stating: “This mission enables access for everyday people who dream of going to space.”

SpaceX has given no indication as to when the launch will happen but it is likely to happen late this year or early next.

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