Billionaire Who Bought SpaceX Flight Is Raffling Off Ticket For First Civilian Trip To Space
A US billionaire is raffling off seats on SpaceX’s first all-civilian trip to space in a bid to raise money for charity.
Jared Isaacman, the founder of credit processing company Shift4Payments, purchased the whole flight from Elon Musk’s company, and the expedition is scheduled to depart later this year from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
The Inspiration4 mission will carry Isaacman and three others, one of whom – a care worker from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee – has already been picked. One seat will be issued to a business owner who uses Shifts 4 Payments.
The last seat will be given to a person who donates to the hospital over the course of February. Donors will be put into a random draw for a chance to win. The aim is to raise $200 million for the hospital, a paediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s diseases.
Discussing the pending flight, as per Mail Online, Isaacman said:
I truly want us to live in a world 50 or 100 years from now where people are jumping in their rockets like the Jetsons and there are families bouncing around on the moon with their kid in a spacesuit.
He added, ‘I also think if we are going to live in that world, we better conquer childhood cancer along the way.’
While the SpaceX flight will be all-civilian, those going to space will receive some training beforehand. They’ll be taught about the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity and other forms of stress testing before boarding the flight.
In an interview with NBC Nightly News, Musk admitted that ‘the risk is not zero’ whenever there’s a crew onboard SpaceX’s rockets, and admitted that ‘any mission where there’s a crew onboard makes [him] nervous’.
When you’ve got a brand new mode of transportation, you have to have pioneers. Things are expensive at first, and as you’re able to increase the launch rate, increase the production rate, refine the technology, it becomes less expensive and accessible to more people.
I think people will really enjoy seeing things vicariously from the video and the watching the mission. it’s like when America went to the moon in ’69, it wasn’t just a few people. Humanity went to the moon. We all went there with them. And I think it’s something similar here.
Talking about this year’s upcoming flight, Musk said that they will ‘be will be with Jared on the journey’ and that they will be seeing it all in real-time.
Musk went on to describe it as ‘an important milestone’ in making trips to space more affordable.
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