Tesla boss Elon Musk (50) It has not only been dedicated to the expansion of electric mobility, but also to the conquest of space.
Now he has made history again with his company SpaceX: the first completely private charter flight to the ISS space station took off on Friday!
Seats in Musk’s “Crew Dragon” space capsule were limited and hugely expensive. Each eight-day All-Stay ticket cost $55 million, including room and board. In addition, the participants had to invest 700 hours of training.
These are the participants
Wealthy businessmen took over the seats. On board were American businessman Larry Connor (72), Israeli businessman and pilot Eytan Stibbe (64) and Canadian investor Mark Pathy (52). They are accompanied by the American-Spanish ex-NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría (63).
At 11:17 a.m. local time, the “Falcon 9” rocket took off from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in the US state of Florida. After about 20 hours in space, the spacefarers should dock with the ISS early Saturday morning and be brought aboard the space station shortly thereafter.
“It was an incredible flight and we look forward to the next few days,” said former NASA astronaut López-Alegría upon reaching orbit. NASA chief Bill Nelson (79) spoke of a “historic beginning” and a “new era of manned space travel.” The start had previously been postponed several times.
Visitor tickets include access to all areas of the ISS, except the Russian part, for which the permission of the three cosmonauts on board is needed. Among other things, a meeting with German astronaut Matthias Maurer (52), who also lives on the space station, is planned.
NASA space chief Kathy Lueders said much could be learned from this first visit to the entirely private station. “But man, this launch was a great start,” she told reporters.
Each of the fellow passengers has to carry out a series of experiments during their stay. That’s why they don’t like to be called space tourists.
“They’re not there to press their noses against the window,” said Axiom president Michael Suffredini.
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