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Out of this World

SpaceX announces plan for 1st all-civilian mission to space

SpaceX announced on Monday it plans on launching an all-civilian crew into orbit as early as this year, in a first-of-its-kind mission.

Entrepreneur Jared Isaacman will fund the trip, and said he will be joined by an employee of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the winner of a contest he is running through Shift4Shop, his eCommerce platform. They will travel to space aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told Isaacman that "wherever you want to go, we'll take you there."

The mission, named Inspiration4, "is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step toward a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars," Isaacman said. In addition to paying for the trip, Isaacman said he will donate $100 million to St. Jude's. Isaacman told reporters the flight crew might be able to start training within the next month, and it will involve the same regimen professional astronauts go through, CNN reports.