SpaceX's Polaris Dawn to soon drive crew to 1st-ever 'all-civilian' spacewalk

Crew prepares for unprecedented spacewalk in SpaceX's Polaris Dawn Mission
SpaceX's Polaris Dawn to soon drive crew to 1st-ever 'all-civilian' spacewalk
SpaceX's Polaris Dawn to soon drive crew to 1st-ever 'all-civilian' spacewalk

Polaris Dawn, managed by Elon Musk's SpaceX and led by tech billionaire Jared Isaacman, is poised to embark on a groundbreaking 'all-civilian' space mission. Scheduled for launch on July 31, this mission represents the first commercial spaceflight to include a spacewalk, marking a significant milestone in space exploration. The endeavor is part of Isaacman's Polaris Programme, initiated under his leadership at Shift4 Payments.

The crew, composed of pilot Scott "Kidd" Poteet, a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel who previously served as mission director for Inspiration4, mission specialist Sarah Gillis, overseeing SpaceX's astronaut training program, and medical officer Anna Menon, responsible for SpaceX's crew operations and mission control, will spend up to five days in orbit aboard SpaceX's Dragon capsule.

The primary objective of Polaris Dawn is to conduct a spacewalk at an altitude of about 700 kilometers above Earth's surface. This will serve as a critical test for SpaceX-designed extravehicular activity (EVA) suits, pivotal for future long-duration missions, including lunar base construction and Martian city development.

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This mission is set to achieve the highest orbit ever reached by a crewed mission since the Apollo Programme concluded in the 1970s, promising groundbreaking insights into the effects of spaceflight and space radiation on human health. Additionally, the crew will pioneer the testing of Starlink laser-based communications in space, providing invaluable data for future missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

Jared Isaacman expressed his gratitude for the collaborative efforts of SpaceX, the Polaris Programme team, and NASA, highlighting recent milestones and upcoming preparations at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

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