Billionaire contracts three missions with SpaceX, including a spacewalk

Jared Isaacman, who flew into space on the civilian Inspiration4 mission, also wants to be the first human to fly in a SpaceX Starship .


Months after spending three days in space, US billionaire Jared Isaacman announced Monday that he plans three new private missions with SpaceX , the first to take place this year and include a spacewalk.

The missions will use the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket , except for the third, which will be the “first flight with humans on board” of the new Starship megarocket,currently under development by Elon Musk’s company .

This announcement represents a new stage for the private space exploration sector, with SpaceX clearly positioned in the exploration niche hitherto only reserved for government agencies.

Isaacman’s missions with SpaceX

The first of three missions, dubbed “Polaris Dawn” will attempt to go into “the highest Earth orbit ever achieved,” flying “higher” than any SpaceX manned mission to date, according to a statement.

In September, businessman Jared Isaacman had led the Inspiration4 mission , the first in the world to send civilians into space, without a professional astronaut. This reached a distance of 590 km altitude, further than the International Space Station (ISS).

“Polaris Dawn” will take off from Florida in the “fourth quarter of this year” at the latest, and should take up to 5 days, according to the document.

A spacewalk, unprecedented for SpaceX , is planned “at about 500 kilometers in altitude” and should serve as a test for the new space suits developed by the company and adapted to extravehicular outputs.

The mission will have 4 crew members. The first, Jared Isaacman himself, director of the financial company Shift4 Payments and experienced pilot, who will again be the commander. With him, Scott Poteet, an Air Force veteran who has worked for billionaire companies, and two SpaceX employees.

The first, Sarah Gillis, responsible for training the rookies for the ride on Inspiration4, and Anna Menon, a mission specialist who worked for NASA for seven years before joining SpaceX.

The third is a flight aboard the new Starship rocket and will be under heavy scrutiny . The ship, in fact, was selected by NASA to be the vehicle that will carry astronauts to the surface of the moon, no later than 2025. (AFP)