Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to send an all-civilian crew into space at the end of 2021. The pilot of the ship will be the founder and head of Shift4 Payments, Jared Isaacman, and three more seats are still vacant.
According to SpaceX, the mission is called Inspiration 4. The Dragon spacecraft launch with four crew members is due no earlier than the fourth quarter of this year from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The pilot and mission leader will be entrepreneur Jared Isaacman. The control of the spacecraft is automated, but there must still be a person on board with experience in operating aircraft in case of emergencies.
The mission also aims to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tennessee. Therefore, one place was allocated for the hospital's medical worker.
There are still two places that people can get by meeting certain conditions. The third member of the crew will be chosen from among those who donate to the hospital (from $10), and the fourth will be selected from among new and existing users of the Shift4Shop platform. One of the requirements is to be a resident of the United States.
Isaacman has already donated $100 million to the hospital as part of the campaign. He expects that during the selection of crew members, it will be possible to collect at least another 100 million.
All team members will be announced in the coming weeks. After that, they will undergo special training in stress resistance, preparedness for emergencies, and they will also be taught how to behave in conditions of gravity, zero gravity, etc.
The duration of the mission has not yet been disclosed. SpaceX only says it will be a multi-day mission. Musk says the duration of the mission will depend on Jared, but the company will offer a two-to-four-day mission.
According to Musk, SpaceX plans to use the Dragon capsule for the mission, which was used during the launch of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. After completing the flight, the crew will disembark off the coast of Florida.