SpaceX launches first all-civilian orbit crew into space

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The first all-civilian orbit crew launched into space at 8:03 p.m. on Wednesday in another milestone for space tourism.

Just moments before SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the crew members could be seen fist bumping and locking hands during a SpaceX streaming of the launch.

During the three-day mission, the Crew Dragon spacecraft aims to reach a roughly 360-mile altitude, which would be the highest since the Gemini 10 and 11 missions in 1966. The launch is also the first time that initial launch and landing will be guided without an astronaut on board. 

“During their multi-day journey, the @Inspiration4x crew will conduct scientific research designed to advance human health on Earth and during future long-duration spaceflights,” SpaceX tweeted ahead of the launch.

The crew on aircraft include Chris Sembroski, Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor and Hayley Arceneaux.

Isaacman, who is a billionaire and is heading the mission, paid $200 million for the flight’s four seats, using the launch as an opportunity to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, according to ABC News.
Sembroski is a Lockheed Martin engineer and Arceneaux works at the hospital as physician assistant. Protector is a professor in Phoenix, Arizona, according to The Washington Post.
The SpaceX launch follows other high-profile space travel earlier this year.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic-created spacecraft launched in addition to a spacecraft developed by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. In July Branson’s mission carried him and five others to an altitude of 50-mile altitude that is considered the edge of space by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.)
Later that same month, Bezos’ spacecraft launched to an altitude of about 66 miles with his brother in addition to a few others.
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