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Elon Musk's SpaceX Successfully Launches All-Civilian Crew Into Space, Inspiration4 Reaches Orbit

Elon Musk's SpaceX Successfully Launches All-Civilian Crew Into Space, Inspiration4 Reaches Orbit

SpaceX Inspiration4 flight on Wednesday successfully launched a four-member civilian crew into orbit for three days, a new milestone in private space travel.

What Happened: The flight took off at 8.02 p.m. ET from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. 

The capsule carrying members of the mission separated from the booster about 12 minutes into the flight and began traveling to an orbit about 360 miles above Earth.

The crew inside the capsule comprises Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc (NYSE: FOUR), and three other U.S. citizens who are not professional astronauts but did spend months preparing for the flight.

During the journey, which will take the crew as deep as 360 miles in space, those onboard will conduct scientific and medical research on human health on Earth and during future long-duration space flights, SpaceX said in a statement. 

The capsule is configured to remain in orbit for about a week if needed, Isaacman had tweeted earlier.

See Also: Elon Musk's SpaceX To Launch 4 Civilians Into Space Today In Its First-Such Mission And Netflix Is Running A Special Livestream

Why It Matters: SpaceX’s maiden civilian flight goes deeper into space than those of rivals led by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE) and Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The two billionaires flew along with their crews but those flights spent far less time and only made a dash into space and flew back to earth quickly.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who also leads Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), earlier said the reason he started SpaceX was to get humanity to Mars. 

See Also: Virgin Galactic Opens Up Space Flights: Here's How Much It Will Cost To Fly To Space Like Richard Branson

“I want to make the dream of space accessible to anyone and ultimately make science fiction, not fiction,” Musk said in a Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) trailer that documents the mission.

Price Action: Tesla shares closed 1.52% higher at $755.83 on Wednesday.


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Posted-In: Elon Musk Inspiration4 Jared Isaacman space tourism Space Travel SpaceXNews Tech Best of Benzinga

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