World news – SpaceX aims to launch a « purely civilian » journey into orbit

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February 2, 2021

SpaceX announced on Monday that it is slated to launch the first purely civilian mission into orbit this year, led by a tech billionaire who is planning to raffle one of the items on board the plane.

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The entrepreneur Jared Isaacman is accompanied by three other inexperienced astronauts on a multi-day journey into space, including a lucky winner of a drawing.

« It is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure: a journey into space on the first purely civilian one Spaceflight, « said a website dedicated to the mission.

SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk, said Isaacman was donating » the three seats next to him … to members of the public who are in the to be announced in the coming weeks « .

The launch of the spacecraft Dragon should take place » at the earliest in the fourth quarter of this year « , announced the company.

One seat goes to a staff member at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, who treats childhood cancer and childhood diseases, and the second goes to those who enter the raffle and are asked to donate to the hospital.

A third will be selected by a jury of entrepreneurs using an e-commerce tool from Isaacman’s company Shift4 Payments.

All three crew members « will receive commercial astronaut training from SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launcher and the Dragon spaceship » as well as orbital mechanics and stress tests, including operation in micro- or weightlessness, the statement says.

After the mission, the spacecraft will re-enter the atmosphere for a water landing off the coast of Florida.

In mid-November 2020 four astronauts successfully put into orbit from a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and boarded the International Space Station.

The Drachenk Just a week earlier, apsel was the first spacecraft to be certified by NASA since the space shuttle almost 40 years ago. The launcher is the reusable SpaceX Falcon 9.

At the end of its missions, the Crew Dragon deploy parachutes and then splash into the water as in the Apollo era.

NASA turned to SpaceX and Boeing after she closed the Checkered Space Shuttle program in 2011, which missed its primary goals of making space travel affordable and safe.

The agency will have spent more than $ 8 billion on the Commercial Crew program by 2024 , in the hope that the private sector can take care of NASA’s « near-earth orbit » needs so it can focus on returning to the moon and back then on to Mars.

In addition to the first commercial mission, SpaceX Launch two more crewed flights for NASA in 2021, including one in the spring and four cargo refueling missions over the next 15 months.

© 2021 AFP

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