GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)
SpaceX's first private flight blasted off on 15 September 2021 night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism. It was the first time a rocket streaked toward orbit with an all-amateur crew — no professional astronauts.
- The Dragon capsule's two men and two women are looking to spend three days circling the world from an unusually high orbit — 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the International Space Station — before splashing down off the Florida coast this weekend.
- It's SpaceX founder Elon Musk's first entry in the competition for space tourism dollars.
- Isaacman is the third billionaire to launch this summer, following the brief space-skimming flights by Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson and Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos in July.
- Joining Isaacman on the trip dubbed Inspiration4 is Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a childhood cancer survivor who works as a physician assistant where she was treated — St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
- Arceneaux is set to become the youngest American in space and the first person in space with prosthesis, a titanium rod in her left leg.
- The recycled Falcon rocket soared from the same Kennedy Space Center pad used by the company's three previous astronaut flights for NASA. But this time, the Dragon capsule aimed for an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers), just beyond the Hubble Space Telescope.