Sign up for a trip to space; SpaceX to take civilians to space by 2021-22

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 19, 2020

File photo   -  Reuters

The company will enable a space trip two to three times farther than the International Space Station into the Earth’s orbit

SpaceX has partnered up with private spaceflight company Space Adventures to send civilians to space, according to the company’s official announcement.

As per the agreement, the company will enable a space trip two to three times farther than the International Space Station into the Earth’s orbit as per the official release by private spaceflight company Space Adventures. So far, the company has enabled spaceflights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russia’s Soyuz rocket and spacecraft for seven private astronauts.

“Building on the success of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station in March 2019 and the recent successful test of the spacecraft’s launch escape system, Space Adventures, Inc. has entered into an agreement with SpaceX to fly private citizens on the first Crew Dragon free-flyer mission. This will provide up to four individuals with the opportunity to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight and see planet Earth the way no one has since the Gemini program,” Space Adventures said in an official statement.

“This historic mission will forge a path to making spaceflight possible for all people who dream of it, and we are pleased to work with the Space Adventures’ team on the mission,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer, SpaceX.

‘Space tourists’ could go for a ride to space by late 2021 or early 2022 according to media reports. Details regarding the cost, the process of selection or training have not yet been disclosed.

SpaceX had built the Crew Dragon spaceship in agreement with NASA. Elon Musk's brain-child had entered into the venture after receiving $2.6 billion from NASA in 2014 for the development of Crew Dragon, according to a CNN report. The vessel had passed a major testing parameter where it proved its escape capability back in January.

The capsule was launched atop the rocket Falcon 9 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

In order to proceed with the mission, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon needs to be cleared for flying humans by NASA which could happen in coming weeks, CNN reported.

SpaceX is set to launch its first NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley into space in spring. The mission could take place as early as April 2020 according to a Business Insider report.

SpaceX also successfully deployed a new batch of 60 Starlink satellites on Monday.

Published on February 19, 2020

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