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SpaceX Launches First Tourism Mission Into Orbit

Four people were onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which departed from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 


Inspiration4, the first-ever tourism mission into space, launched Wednesday morning.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Four people were onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which departed from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

According to a release from SpaceX, which is one of Elon Musk’s companies, the spaceflight mission launched at 8:02:56 p.m ET. The crew spent six months training for the mission, which is expected to last about three days. 

Before launch, Commander Jared Isaacman said, “Our crew carries the responsibility and importance of this mission as we prepare to blast of. We have been well-prepared for the challenges ahead of us the next three days and look forward to sharing our experience with the world as we continue to bring attention to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital here on earth.”

Related: NASA Awards SpaceX, Blue Origin, and 3 Other Companies $146 Million In Contracts to Make Moon Lander Designs

Isaacman made a $100 million donation to St. Jude and Inspiration4 has a fundraising goal of $200 million through next February, with a goal of helping accelerate research advancements to save more children around the world. So far, the mission has a commitment of over $130 million, according to the release. 

Isaacman and his companions represent four mission pillars, according to SpaceX: Leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity. Isaacman represents leadership and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux represents hope.

Chris Sembroski, who has supported the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children represents generosity while prosperity is represented by Dr. Sian Proctor, an entrepreneur.

When the mission is complete, the crew is expected to have a soft water landing off the coast of Florida. 

Related: SpaceX to Carry All-Civilian Crew in Space Flight