SpaceX ‘Inspiration4’ launch, world’s 1st all-civilian human spaceflight

Launch planned for 8:02 p.m. on Sept. 15

Inspiration4 crew Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arcenauex walkout of SpaceX facilities during a launch dress rehearsal
Inspiration4 crew Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arcenauex walkout of SpaceX facilities during a launch dress rehearsal (WKMG 2021)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – For the first time in 60 years of human spaceflight, a rocket is poised to blast into orbit with no professional astronauts on board, only four tourists.

SpaceX’s first private flight is led by a 38-year-old entrepreneur who’s bankrolling the entire trip. He’s taking two sweepstakes winners with him on the three-day, round-the-world trip, along with a health care worker who survived childhood cancer.

They’ll ride alone in a fully automated Dragon capsule, the same kind that SpaceX uses to send astronauts to and from the International Space Station for NASA. But the chartered flight won’t be going there.

Set to launch Wednesday night from Kennedy Space Center, the two men and two women will soar 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the space station, aiming for an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers), just above the current position of the Hubble Space Telescope.

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About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.