Billionaire Jared Isaacman Buys First Private SpaceX Flight — and There's a Spare Seat!

A U.S. businessman has paid to launch the first all-civilian mission into outer space.

Jared Isaacman, 37, is commanding the mission, called Inspiration 4, which is tentatively set for October of this year, though details are still being worked out, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Isaacman is the billionaire founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, and purchased the flight from Elon Musk's SpaceX. He made a $100 million donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital that "vastly exceeds the cost of the mission," he told the AP.

"I truly want us to live in a world 50 or 100 years from now where people are jumping in their rockets like the Jetsons and there are families bouncing around on the moon with their kid in a spacesuit," Isaacman told the AP.

Civilians with dreams of orbiting the planet could join Isaacman on the mission — anyone who donates to St. Jude in the month of February will be entered into a random drawing for a seat on the flight.

The two remaining seats will be filled by a health care worker at St. Jude and a business owner who uses Isaacman's credit card company.

Isaacman has bought a Super Bowl ad to raise awareness about the project, and hopes to raise a total of $200 million for St. Jude.

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The self-described "space geek" added to the AP that if a Jetsons-like world is the future, "we better conquer childhood cancer along the way."

According to the mission's website, the four civilian astronauts will "leave Earth from Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39A, the embarkation point for Apollo and Space Shuttle missions, and travel across a low earth orbit on a multi-day journey that will continually eclipse more than 90% of the earth's population."

The mission will use a SpaceX Dragon capsule, which is "is the first private spacecraft to take humans to the space station," according to the mission's website.

According to SpaceX, the crew — which will be announced in March — will "receive commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, and other forms of stress testing."

"They will go through emergency preparedness training, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises, as well as partial and full mission simulations," according to SpaceX's website.

"If something does go wrong, it will set back every other person's ambition to go and become a commercial astronaut," Isaacman told the AP.

Musk said during a press conference Monday that the mission is "an important milestone toward enabling access to space for everyone," the AP reported.

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