The launch was scheduled between 2:02 am and 7:02 am (Dutch time), because the rocket was not on its way to the International Space Station, a precise departure time was not necessary. At 2:02 am the conditions were good and the rocket took off, a fireball illuminated the sky over Cape Canaveral.
The spaceship is at most 540 kilometers from Earth. The last time humans went this far was in 2009. After spending about three days in space, the crew members return to Earth. The machine then plunges, suspended from a parachute, into the Atlantic Ocean.
The company behind the space travel, billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, wants to sell such tourist flights to ordinary people who have a lot of money for an alien experience.
The captain on board is 38-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman, who pays for the flight. He is the founder of the Shift4 payment service. He takes with him two people linked to a children’s hospital in the city of Memphis. They are medical assistant Hayley Arceneaux (29) and donor Christopher Sembroski (42). The fourth crew member is Sian Proctor (51), a geology professor who unsuccessfully attempted to become an astronaut more than ten years ago.
Musk is in fierce competition with two other billionaires, Jeff Bezos (Amazon, Blue Origin) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic). They too have embarked on space tourism.
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