CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Editor's Note: The video above is from May 2020 when American astronauts launched aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule in a history-making flight.
A ride into space no longer requires being a professional astronaut as SpaceX is set to prove later this year.
The company announced Monday that in 2021 the first all-civilian crew will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket to orbit Earth aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The mission will be called Inspiration4 and it is set to launch from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
So who's filling the seats? Well, only one is claimed for now, and the other three are left all up to chance.
According to SpaceX, U.S. billionaire and Pennsylvania entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who will act as the mission's commander, is donating the remaining seats alongside him to the general public.
The lucky winners will be announced in the weeks ahead, and there's still time to enter for the chance to secure two of the spots.
All you have to do is head to the mission's webpage and select "secure your seat." From there, you will be taken to a page where you can either donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or start a Shift4Shop and post an inspirational business story on Twitter.
"Inspiration4 will have four seats representing the mission pillars of Leadership, Hope, Generosity and Prosperity. You have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join this flight to space by securing either the Generosity or Prosperity seat," SpaceX wrote.
The third seat is already pre-set for a St. Jude ambassador who exemplifies both the hospital's vision and the pillar of Hope, which the seat is named after.
The Associated Press reports Isaacman, who is also an accomplished jet pilot, aims to use the trip to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"In fulfilling a personal and lifelong dream, I recognize the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission. While a historic journey awaits us in space, I hope this mission reinforces how far inspiration can take us and the extraordinary achievements it leads to here on Earth," he said.
The all-civilian crew will receive commercial astronaut training before exiting the Earth's atmosphere. They will go over orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, vehicle and spacecraft training and forms of stress testing.
There will also be sessions for emergency preparedness, spacesuit and spacecraft exercises and mission simulations.
Overall, the experience is set to be a multi-day journey, orbiting every 90 minutes around the planet we call home.
SpaceX plans to "carefully" monitor each step of the mission from launch to splashdown off the Florida coast.
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