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Polaris program aims for first SpaceX Starship flight to carry humans

2022-02-14 18:38 by
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Jared Isaacman, the billionaire who flew to Earth orbit on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule last year, plans to fly with SpaceX again. Today, Isaacman announced that he's purchased three additional upcoming flights with SpaceX, a series of missions called "Polaris" that would take him deeper into space on the company's spacecraft.

"The Polaris Program is an important step in advancing human space exploration," Isaacman said in a statement. "On Polaris Dawn, we endeavor to achieve the highest Earth orbit ever flown in addition to conducting the world's first commercial spacewalk and testing of Starlink laser-based communication."

The first mission, called Polaris Dawn, will fly no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022. The mission, lasting up to five days. will go to a higher altitude than previous Crew Dragon missions, including Isaacman's Inspiration4 mission that went to 585 kilometers. Gemini 11 in 1966 reached an apogee of about 1,375 kilometers.

This new program represents a further normalization of private spaceflight. While the Polaris Program continues a recent 'tradition' of civilian flights led by billionaires (Isaacman is no exception), it also promises to commercialize aspects that were still reserved for government astronauts, such as spacewalks and testing new spacecraft (NASA astronauts helmed SpaceX's Demo-2).

Read more -here-


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