How much did Elon Musk charge in space? The flight marks the start of SpaceX owner Elon Musk’s new orbital tourism venture, and tickets for the crew are said to be $ 200 million.
How much did Elon Musk charge in space?
The first fully civilian crew bound for orbit took off from the US state of Florida aboard a SpaceX rocket, marking a new era in space tourism.
The spacecraft, which was carrying billionaire e-commerce executive Jared Isaacman and three less wealthy private citizens he decided to join, lifted off Wednesday night (12:03 GMT Thursday) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.
A SpaceX webcast of the launch showed Isaacman, 38, and his teammates, Sian Proctor, 51, Hayley Arceneaux, 29, and Chris Sembroski, 42, tied to the pressurized cockpit of their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. , nicknamed Resilience, with its black helmets. -Black and white flight suits.
The capsule roared through the Florida sky, perched on top of one of the company’s reusable double-decker Falcon 9 rockets and fitted with a special observation dome in place of its usual docking hatch.
The flight, the first crewed mission aimed at orbiting without professional astronauts, is expected to last about three days from launch to landing in the Atlantic, mission officials said.
Video clips posted on social media showed cheers pouring out of the control tower as the Falcon 9 rocket separated from the Dragon capsule about 12 minutes after the flight began.
It marked the first flight of SpaceX owner Elon Musk‘s new orbital tourism company and a leap ahead of competitors who also offer rocket rides to customers willing to pay a small fortune for euphoria and bragging rights. of space flights.
SpaceX moon trip cost per person
Isaacman paid his billionaire colleague Musk an undisclosed sum for the trip. Time magazine set the ticket price for all four seats at $ 200 million. The mission, called Inspiration4, was designed by Isaacman primarily to raise awareness and support one of his favorite causes, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a leading pediatric cancer center in Memphis, Tennessee.
Inspiration4 points to an orbital altitude of 575 km (360 miles) above Earth, higher than the International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope, and the farthest a human has flown from Earth since the end of the Apollo lunar program. from NASA in 1972, according to SpaceX.
At this altitude, the Crew Dragon will circle the world every 90 minutes at a speed of approximately 17,000 miles per hour (27,360 km / h), or approximately 22 times the speed of sound.
Commercial space rivalry
Rival companies Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin launched their own private astronaut services this summer, with their respective founding executives, billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos each. These suborbital flights, which lasted a few minutes, were short jumps of the Inspiration4 spaceflight profile.
SpaceX already ranks as the most established player in the growing constellation of commercial rocket companies, having launched numerous payloads and astronauts to NASA’s International Space Station. Two of his Dragon capsules are already docked there.
The Inspiration4 crew has no role in piloting the spacecraft, which is operated by ground flight crews and onboard guidance systems, despite the fact that two crew members are licensed pilots.
Isaacman, who is designed to fly commercial and military aircraft, took on the role of “commander” of the mission, while Proctor, a geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate, was assigned the role of “pilot” of the mission. mission.
The crew also includes “Medical Director” Arceneaux, a bone cancer survivor who became St Jude’s medical assistant, and mission “specialist” Sembroski, a United States Air Force veteran and data engineer. aerospace.
The four teammates spent five months rigorously preparing, including altitude fitness, centrifugation (G-force), microgravity and simulator training, emergency drills, classroom work, and medical exams.
Inspiration4 officials said the mission was more than a ride.
Once in orbit, the crew will conduct a series of medical experiments with “possible applications for human health on Earth and during future space flights,” the group said in documents prepared for the media.
Biomedical data and biological samples, including ultrasounds, will also be collected from crew members before, during and after the flight.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies