Per a press release shared on Monday, SpaceX is targeting "no earlier than" the fourth quarter of 2021 for the Falcon 9 launch of Inspiration4 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Billionaire Jared Isaacman, the founder of Shift4 Payments, is giving away the three seats alongside him to "individuals from the general public" whose information will be unveiled shortly.
One spot, per an NBC News report, has already been set aside for a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ambassador. Meanwhile, a second spot will go to a member of the general public as part of the mission's aim of raising money for St. Jude, to which Isaacman has already pledged a reported $100 million. And for the final spot, an entrepreneur who uses the Shift4 eCommerce platform will be chosen. A panel of judges will select the winner later this month.
"It's like when America went to the moon in '69—it wasn't just a few people, humanity went to the moon," SpaceX founder Elon Musk said of the mission's historical importance. "We all went there with them. And I think it's something similar here."
The crew of the Inspiration4 will have access to astronaut training by the SpaceX team on both the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and the Dragon spacecraft. Additionally, training focuses will include everything orbital mechanics to microgravity operations. The mission itself will see the crew embarking on a multi-day journey in which they will orbit Earth every 90 minutes along a customized flight path, each step of which will be closely watched by the SpaceX team at mission control.
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