First Private Space Mission Announced


Shift4 Payments and Draken International founder Jared Isaacman has booked a trip with SpaceX that is being called “the world’s first all-civilian mission to space.” Named Inspiration4, the multi-day orbital flight is currently being planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. Isaacman, whose accomplishments as a pilot include two around-the-world speed records and over 100 airshows as part of the Black Diamond Jet Team, will lead the mission. He is donating the other three seats, the first of which will go to an individual selected by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The occupant of the second open seat will be chosen by random drawing from a pool of members of the public who have donated to St. Jude’s via the Inspiration4 fundraiser. The final seat will go to an “inspirational entrepreneur”—selected by a panel of judges—who has launched an online store with Shift4Shop.

“Inspiration4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars,” said Isaacman. “I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth.”

Inspiration4 will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, Resilience, which launched on its first crewed mission in November 2020. According to SpaceX, crew members will undergo the company’s commercial astronaut training which will include lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, and stress testing along with emergency preparedness training, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises and partial and full mission simulations. Inspiration4 will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Resilience did not complete its mission back in November, it launched in November. As I type, it is still on Station, and not scheduled to return until March or April. It’s first flight is still in progress!

    • Perhaps you would kindly keep these comments to somewhere like Twitter so we don’t have to endure them here?