Space tourists have flown to the International Space Station, and even orbited Earth in their own space capsule for three days. Now, a group of private astronauts wants to attempt a spacewalk, one of the most dangerous things people flying in space have ever done.

What

  1. As soon as the end of this year, four private astronauts, including Jared Isaacman, a billionaire who chartered SpaceX’s first space tourist mission last year, could launch to space aboard the company’s Crew Dragon capsule.
  2. At some point during their five days circling Earth, at least one of the crew members will exit the spacecraft for what would be the first spacewalk conducted by a nongovernment astronaut.
  3. The mission is to be the first in a program called Polaris, announced 14 February 2022 by SpaceX and Isaacman.
  4. The main goals of Polaris are to “demonstrate new technologies” and to “conduct extensive research,” according to a news release for the mission.
  5. Isaacman will also work with SpaceX on two future Polaris missions: a second in the coming years aboard Crew Dragon, which NASA relies on to transport its astronauts to the space station, and another which would use Starship, the gigantic next-generation rocket system that SpaceX is developing.