Recently, the head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, gave a presentation in which he spoke about the imminent readiness to launch the spaceship Starship 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 by developing the payment system Shift4. He 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 orbit our planet. Together with a new group of space tourists, he will reach the highest point in a low orbit around the earth, conduct scientific research and go into space. But they are not professional astronauts!
SpaceX’s new travel mission 2022
The organizer of the new space mission is the American businessman Jared Isaacman. As part of the launched Polaris program, three missions will be included – at the moment, 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 for five days and begin at the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon spacecraft into orbit around the Earth.
The crew of the ship will consist of four people: the master Jared Isaacman, the pilot Scott Poteet, SpaceX employees 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 under the Apollo program in the second half of the 20th century.
Ordinary people will go into 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 the Earth’s orbit for the first time, and soon they will start going into space. Previously, this feature was only available to astronauts because it requires careful preparation. Going into outer space is a very risky task, as there is always a risk of flying into the infinite expanses of the universe or colliding with space debris.
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SpaceX has developed new spacesuits and will show them soon
Participants in the Polaris mission will be wearing SpaceX-labeled spacesuits. I talked earlier about the costume used inside the Dragon spacecraft, designed by Hollywood designer Jose Fernandez. The suits used in the new mission will be more flexible and protected, as they are designed to go into space.
SpaceX scientific experiments
Space tourists also plan to do several tests. For example, they will test the Starlink laser communication system. SpaceX has previously said that when laser communication is fully deployed, Starlink will be one of the fastest data communication options in the world.
Participants in the Polaris program will also try to find out how space affects the human body. For example, researchers have previously found that staying in space can lead to a gas embolism, a disease in which air bubbles occur 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. It is likely that not all of the planned tasks will be completed within the first Polaris Dawn mission, and they will be transferred to the other two flights. It is planned to complete the program with a flight inside the Starship spacecraft, whose development is currently in full swing.
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As I said at the beginning of the article, businessman Jared Isaacman was a former customer 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 unwell during the flight and we also talked about this.