SpaceX announces first commercial astronaut mission to orbit Earth aboard Dragon

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This Jan. 31, 2021 image provided by bluShift Aerospace shows an unmanned rocket lifting off in a test run in Limestone, Maine. It was the first commercial rocket launch in Maine history. (The Knack Factory/bluShift Aerospace via AP)

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—SpaceX announced new plans Monday to launch a crew of only private astronauts into orbit — the world’s first such mission.

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SpaceX announced the news via Twitter. The Elon Musk-led company is set to launch tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, chief executive of payments firm Shift4 Payments, and three others as early as the fourth quarter of this year.

The mission, named Inspiration4, is intended to increase support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The crew would be aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon astronaut capsule.

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