SpaceX and Jared Isaacman Sending Civilians to Space
In the 1960s television series, Lost in Space, the Robinson family is sent away from Earth to settle on a new plant due to overpopulation on Earth. While their plans are ultimately derailed, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is paving the way towards space travel becoming a reality. Musk is not setting up for people to settle another planet, but he is preparing to send civilians into space by the end of 2021.
While SpaceX is ultimately the company sending four civilians into space, the seats are being funded by tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman.
Isaacman donated $100 million to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He is trying to raise another $200 million by getting people to donate. One spot goes to Isaacman, and according to CNBC, the other seats will be civilians.
The mission will reserve one seat for a St. Jude ambassador, and the other two seats will be determined by an online competition running from February 1 to February 28. You can find these competitions on the Inspiration4 website. The third seat will be someone who donates at least $10 to St. Jude’s, and the fourth seat will be a new or existing customer of Isaacman’s Shift4Shop platform.
So, who is Jared Isaacman? According to CNBC, he is a tech entrepreneur who dropped out of high school to follow his tech dreams. He did get his GED, and later on, he went to college as well. In high school, he worked for CompUSA and poached customers by offering to take care of their computer issues through his own side business.
Mario Parisi, CEO of Merchant Services Inc. (MSI), was so impressed by how well Isaacman cleared the companies network of viruses, he offered him a job. Over a period of time, this led to Isaacman creating his own business. It changed names multiple times from United Bank Card to Harbortouch to the current name, Shift4 Payments.
Isaacman is a trained pilot and will be “controlling” the rocket capsule. While he is technically in control, the computers will do 99.9% of the work. He is there just in case something goes wrong. The crew will not be actively docking at the space station. The rocket will be orbiting the Earth for a few days and then coming back.
Jared Isaacman was quoted as saying, “Inspiration4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars. I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth.”
Last year, SpaceX sent a U.S. astronaut crew upon their Dragon capsule for the first time. The crew was able to dock on the space station successfully. The crew then came back to Earth.
Musk also has more plans for the future to further the concept of space tourism. SpaceX has made deals to run several private missions over the next few years.
One is a deal with Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. They will be flying the Starship rocket on a trip around the moon in 2023.
Another deal is with Axiom Space, which will actually be docking on the International Space Station. The trip will fly four people to the ISS on a ten-day trip early next year.
Finally, Space Adventure plans to fly four tourists into space on a five-day trip to orbit by 2022.
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