Recently, the head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, gave a presentation in which he spoke about the imminent readiness to launch the spacecraft into orbit. They already have several customers who want to use the spacecraft for their own purposes, he said. Apparently, one of them is Jared Isaacman, who made his fortune developing the Shift4 payment system. He has previously used SpaceX services and traveled in space with three other space tourists. Now the billionaire has created the Polaris program, during which he will make three more private flights to our planet’s orbit. Together with a new group of space tourists, he will reach the highest point in the Earth’s orbit, conduct scientific research and go into space. But they are not professional astronauts!
SpaceX’s new 2022 travel mission
The organizer of the new space mission is American businessman Jared Isaacman. As part of the launched program, Polaris will include three missions – currently details are only known about one. The first mission is called Polaris Dawn and will take place at the end of 2022. It will last five days and start at the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon spacecraft into Earth orbit.
The spacecraft will have a crew of four: commander Jared Isaacman, pilot Scott Poteet, SpaceX employee Sarah Gillis and medical specialist Anna Menon. It is planned that a new group of space tourists will reach the highest point in the Earth’s orbit – such a distant flight was first made during the Apollo program in the second half of the 20th century.
Ordinary people will go into outer space for the first time
As part of the Polaris Dawn mission, ordinary people will go into space for the first time in history. This is a very important event in the space industry – in 2021, space tourists began to actively visit low Earth orbit for the first time, and soon they will begin to go into space. Previously, this feature was only available to astronauts because it requires careful preparation. Going into outer space is a very risky mission, as there is always a risk of flying into the endless expanses of the universe or colliding with space debris.
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SpaceX has developed new space suits and will show them soon
Participants in the Polaris mission will be dressed in SpaceX-branded spacesuits. I talked earlier about the suit used inside the Dragon spacecraft – it was designed by Hollywood designer Jose Fernandez (Jose Fernandez). The suits used in the new mission will be more flexible and protected, as they are designed to go into space.
SpaceX science experiments
Space tourists also intend to do several tests. For example, they will test the laser communication system Starlink. SpaceX has previously said that when laser communications are fully deployed, Starlink will be one of the fastest data communications options in the world.
Participants in the Polaris program will also try to find out how space affects the human body. For example, scientists have previously found that being in space can lead to a gas embolism, a disease in which air bubbles form in the circulatory system. A new group of tourists must also find out details about the effect of cosmic radiation on the human body.
As you can see, space tourists will not be bored – there is a lot of work to do. Most likely, not all planned tasks will be completed on the first Polaris Dawn mission, and they will be carried over to the other two flights. It is planned to complete the program with a flight inside the Starship spacecraft, the development of which is currently in full swing.
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As I said at the beginning of the article, businessman Jared Isaacman was a former client of SpaceX. In 2021, he successfully went into space as part of the Inspiration4 mission – you can read about how it went in this material. One of the space tourists felt sick during the flight and we also talked about this.