The Polaris Dawn mission has a December launch target.
Billionaire commander and tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who will command the Polaris Dawn private mission on the SpaceX Dragon capsule, made the announcement at the July 29 airshow in between high-performance jet training with the rest of the crew.
“Now we’re looking at the end of the year, so most likely December,” Isaacman told reporters at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, according to SpaceNews. (will open in a new tab).
Related: SpaceX Inspiration4 private civilian mission in pictures
(Image credit: Polaris Dawn)
Mission officials have previously said they plan to launch no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022 using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft. Isaacman is best known in space circles for Inspiration4, which raised more than $240 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in September on another mission he flew with SpaceX.
Isaacman and his Polaris Dawn team are training hard. On July 31, Isaakman also shared several photos of the MiG-29 in flight as part of an air show, saying that his crew members were participants in the exercise.
“Amazing few days,” he tweeted. (will open in a new tab). “High performance and important flight consequences are part of our training… plus maximum enjoyment. Thank you to the great team that put this together.”
Polaris Dawn is the first of three separate crewed launches, all funded by Isaacman. In this first attempt, Isaacman will fly the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft alongside Sarah Gillis, Anna Menon, and Scott Potit. (Both Gillis and Menon work for SpaceX.) The second launch is aimed at using Dragon, and the third is planned as the first crewed mission for Starship, SpaceX’s next-generation spacecraft.
Amazing few days @EAA Oshkosh with @PolarisProgram. High performance flying with serious consequences is part of our training… plus maximum fun🤙. Thank you for the great team that brought this together. Until next year pic.twitter.com/ndKdcFJ6IUJuly 31, 2022
Mission objectives include the first spacewalk or spacewalk by a private astronaut. The crew will use SpaceX-designed spacewalk suits. The Crew Dragon will be depressurized for spacewalks in the same way that NASA’s Gemini capsules were in the 1960s, requiring all crew members to wear suits designed for a vacuum environment.
Other crew training includes indoor scuba diving in California to prepare for spacewalks, climbing mountain peaks in Ecuador, and performing centrifugal exercises with vomit comet-type flight paths.
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