We might not have visited the moon in over 50 years now, but human beings’ fascination with space remains the space. In fact, it has only grown, as with each upgrade on the technological front, we are getting closer and closer to open up the space for everyone. Organizations like NASA have been working tirelessly to expand the human race beyond Earth, as they continue their search for life on a different planet. If we are talking numbers, then space projects worth multi-billion dollars are currently crawling through the pipeline, taking us steadily towards a different reality altogether. Adding to the picture are dynamic personalities like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos who have made it their mission to turn things like space travel into something more than just a piece of imagination. In their pursuit to dominate this area, both Musk and Bezos have been innovating their way to the top. While Musk has done some tremendous work with all what he has contributed to the said cause, Bezos and his company, Blue Origin, have also quickly gained the attention of space experts through their own plans. As these two individuals go head to head, we the spectators are really the winners because of how this back-and-forth brings scores of possibilities for us. Just look at SpaceX latest move to confirm it.
SpaceX is set to send four tourists on a three-day trip to Space, but that’s not the most interesting bit of the story though. None of these tourists are professional astronauts, which makes this expedition a first of hopefully many. Sending a whole fleet of non-astronauts on such a trip comes on as a bold move when NASA, on the other hand, has been avoiding the selection of a single non-astronaut since the tragic mishap in 1986. The reason why this has to be a big deal is because, before this trip, the space was only accessible for people deemed qualified by the government or some super-rich billionaires. Named as Inspiration4, this trip comes as close to a common man as it could possibly get right now. However, make no mistake, there is a billionaire involved.
Jared Isaacman, founder of the payment processing company, Shift4, will be funding the entire trip, which is expected to cost around $200 million. Apart from Isaacman, 29 years old cancer survivor, Hayley Arceneaux will also be joining the group. She will become the first person with a prosthetic body part to go to space. Currently working as a physician at St. Jude, Hayley will also act as the flight’s chief medical officer.
The third tourist on-board will be Sian Proctor, who interestingly got in through a post on social media that showcased her space-related artwork. Continuing the trend of rarity around this trip, Sian becomes only the fourth black American woman to make a journey to space.
The final member of the inspiration4 team will be Chris Sembroski, who entered the picture after his friend transferred the raffle-winning ticket to him.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Brevard Country, Florida, is locked in as the launch-base for this mission. The launch is scheduled for Wednesday between 8:02 PM and 1:02 AM Eastern Time.