Thursday, September 16, 2021
Mission “Inspiration 4”
First tourists on their way into space
For the first time, laypeople fly into orbit in a rocket. There are no professional astronauts on board, an autopilot takes over control. US billionaire Jared Isaacman has secured the first flight of its kind for himself and three colleagues – and paid SpaceX huge sums for it.
The first space tourists are on their way into space aboard a SpaceX rocket from the space company led by Elon Musk. The “Inspiration 4” mission took off on a Falcon launch vehicle with the billionaire founder and managing director of the financial services provider Shift4 Payments, Jared Isaacman, and three companions at 8:03 pm (local time) from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida the SpaceX webcast showed.
The flight is the first manned mission into Earth orbit without professional astronauts, and it will go well beyond the limit of space and into orbit. The Crew Dragon capsule flies on autopilot and can be remotely controlled from Earth in an emergency. E-commerce billionaire Isaacman has paid a previously undisclosed sum to Tesla founder Musk to send himself and his three colleagues into orbit for three days. Time Magazine puts the ticket price for all four seats at $ 200 million.
The spaceship was equipped with a special observation dome instead of the usual docking hatch so that the four lay astronauts can enjoy the view into space at an altitude of around 575 kilometers. The orbit is thus higher than that of the International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope and, according to SpaceX, the furthest human flight since the end of NASA’s Apollo lunar program in 1972. At this altitude, the crew should all cover the earth Circumnavigate 90 minutes once, at a speed of around 27,360 kilometers per hour, i.e. around 22 times the speed of sound.
The competing companies Virgin Galactic from Richard Branson and Blue Origin from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos have so far only offered wealthy space tourists a brief immersion in weightlessness: their respective maiden flights with Branson and Bezos on board reached the boundary between aerospace, the so-called Karman Line at around 100 kilometers above sea level.