'Many will follow': SpaceX sends all-civilian crew into orbit
- Tough training -SpaceX hasn't disclosed what the trip cost Isaacman, a highschool dropout who went on to found Shift4 Payments and is also a keen aviator. But the price tag runs into tens of millions of dollars. Isaacman's three crewmates were selected through a competition, and their stories have been followed in a Netflix documentary. Hayley Arceneaux, a pediatric cancer survivor, is a 29-year-old physician assistant. She will be the youngest American to go into orbit and the first person with a prosthesis, on a part of her femur. Chris Sembroski, 42, is a US Air Force veteran who now works as an aerospace data engineer. Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old geoscientist and educator, was almost selected to become an astronaut for NASA in 2009. She is only the fourth African-American woman to go to space.
- Privatization of space -Beyond the charitable and scientific aspects, the mission's stated goal is to represent a turning point in the democratization of space, by proving that the cosmos is accessible to people who have not been handpicked and trained for many years as astronauts. For SpaceX, this is nothing less than a first step towards a multi-planetary humanity -- founder and CEO Musk's ultimate vision. The flight should remain fully automated, but the crew has been trained by SpaceX to be able to take control in the event of an emergency. The space adventure bookends a summer marked by the battle of the billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to reach the final frontier. Branson, the Virgin Galactic founder, achieved the feat first, on July 11, and was followed by the Blue Origin boss nine days later. But these flights only offered a few minutes of weightlessness. SpaceX's mission is far more ambitious -- though flights organized by a private company that contracted Russian Soyuz rockets in the 2000s took tourists to the ISS. This is the fourth crewed mission for SpaceX, which has now sent 10 astronauts to the ISS for US space agency NASA.
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