SpaceX will fly four civilians into space later this year

The mission will raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.


Later this year, SpaceX will put four private individuals into space aboard one of its Crew Dragon craft. The company is calling the upcoming mission, dubbed, Inspiration4, “the world’s first all-civilian mission,” and it’s currently scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in the final quarter of the year.

Leading the expedition is Shift4 Payments founder and CEO Jared Isaacman, who will act as its commander. One of the mission’s goals is to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. To that end, Isaacman is donating two of the three remaining seats on the craft to the public, and one of the ways to join Inspiration4 is by donating to the hospital. The other is by starting a Shift4Shop and sharing the story behind it on social media, while the final one will go to an ambassador from St. Jude. The multi-day journey around the Earth will eventually end off the coast of Florida.

Everyone who takes part in the flight will receive training from SpaceX, with the course touching on things like orbital mechanics and how to move in zero gravity. There will also be training on how to use a spacesuit and respond to emergency developments.

Inspiration4 is currently the second private mission SpaceX has planned for its Crew Dragon craft, which has so far exclusively ferried NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. Early next year, the company will fly four commercial astronauts, for $55 million each, on a ten-day trip to the ISS.