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One Seat on SpaceX Civilian Mission Is Available

Billionaire Jared Isaacman of Shift4 Payments is funding 'Inspiration4,' raising money for St. Jude
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2021 12:05 AM CST

(Newser) – SpaceX is launching its first-ever all-civilian flight, the company announced Monday, and there's a chance you could be on it. Jared Isaacman, the billionaire founder and CEO of payment processing company Shift4 Payments, is funding the mission dubbed "Inspiration4"—as well as commanding it; he's a pilot on the side, ABC News reports. He's also using it to attempt to raise $200 million for a children's hospital, the AP reports. There are three other seats available, one of which will go to an entrepreneur who uses the Shif4Shop eCommerce platform and enters to win the seat by showing via video how they use the technology. The other two seats, Isaacman is donating to St. Jude Children's Resarch Hospital in a bid to raise money for the nonprofit institution. All four will undergo astronaut training.

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One of the final two seats will go to a St. Jude's worker, and the other will be raffled off to a member of the public. Anyone can enter the online raffle, and no donation to the hospital is necessary, but they are encouraged and can get people more entries. Isaacman himself has committed a $100 million donation. "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, who turns 38 next week, tells the AP. “I also think if we are going to live in that world, we better conquer childhood cancer along the way." The earliest the "multi-day" flight might launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida would be the fourth quarter of this year. A Super Bowl ad will publicize the mission. (Much more on it here.)

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