SpaceX announces partnership to send 4 tourists into deep orbit

Pablo Tucker
February 20, 2020

SpaceX will work with space tourism company Space Adventures to send up to four people into space onboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, according to a press release. If that date holds, it will be the first manned launch in NASA's Commercial Crew program, and we'll have a clear victor between SpaceX and Boeing in the race to send humans to space.

Whereas SpaceX has been working arduous to ship a secure, dependable technique of transporting astronauts into space for NASA, there's at all times been the query of how lengthy it will take earlier than any firm, together with SpaceX, embraced house tourism.

The passengers would be flying around Earth's orbit for five days in the 13-foot-wide SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, enjoying views of Earth like very few have seen before.

Boeing also is building a crew ferry ship - the CST-100 Starliner - as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, an initiative aimed at developing new US spacecraft the government would hire, in a sense, but not own. The company got the thumbs up from NASA to send astronauts to the International Space Station on a mission now expected to begin in May.

In other news, SpaceX managed to successfully launch two batches of 60 Starlink satellites back in January.

Or at least, it will make spaceflight possible for all who have millions of dollars to spare.

Space Adventures, which was founded in 1998, will coordinate with private citizens seeking to take the trips.

NASA has softened its stance on space tourists, and is opening the station doors to paying customers once commercial crew flights by SpaceX and Boeing have been established. SpaceX said it will launch up to four passengers higher into Earth's orbit than ever before. For private, non-NASA free flights like the ones Space Adventures plans with the Crew Dragon, missions presumably would be controlled from the ground and would not require an experienced pilot-astronaut. The individuals that have flown included entrepreneur and space investor Anousheh Ansari and Cirque du Soleil who is the co-founder Guy Laliberté. At the time of publication, Space Adventure's website was down.

"Help us create the future of private spaceflight", Space Adventures says in a YouTube video.

At its earliest, the mission could take place by late 2021, though "probably more likely is sometime in 2022", Mr Shelley said. That would be further away from Earth than anyone has travelled in decades.

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