SpaceX launches 1st space tourism mission

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American private space company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) launched its first civilian space tourism mission on Wednesday night in Florida, a SpaceX webcast said.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named as Inspiration4 and sent from Kennedy Space Center, entered the orbit of earth shortly after the launch.

As the world's first all-commercial astronaut mission to orbit, Inspiration4 is commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, said SpaceX.

The spacecraft will remain in a 575-km high orbit for three days before reentering Earth's atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.

The Inspiration4 crew will conduct scientific research designed to advance human health on Earth and during future long-duration space flights.

Isaacman is donating the three seats alongside him aboard Dragon to other three individuals including Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and pediatric cancer survivor, Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer, and Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, entrepreneur, and trained pilot.

The mission is also aimed at raising awareness and funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Dragon spacecraft was lifted by Falcon 9, a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

SpaceX is in a race to take customers to space with Virgin Galactic Holdings and Blue Origin.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., recently announced the launch of a private space company Privateer Space to "keep space safe and accessible to all humankind."

Headquartered in Hawthorne, California, SpaceX was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars.

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