SpaceX will launch world’s first ever all-civilian mission to orbit tonight

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Elon Musk's SpaceX is gearing up for the launch of Inspiration 4 – the world's first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit.

The private mission, which is being fully funded by billionaire founder of Shift4 Payments Jared Isaacman, will see four civilians blast off to space aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.

Jared will be commanding the mission, and will be joined by Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux, Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski and Mission Pilot Dr Sian Proctor.

The fully automated Dragon Capsule will launch from the Kennedy Space Center, and sort 100miles higher than the space station.

The private flight's benefactor explained: "This is the first step toward a world where everyday people can go and venture among the stars."

When is the SpaceX launch?

There is a five hour launch window for the Inspiration4 mission.

It was first due to take place today, Wednesday September 15.

However, it has now been pushed back to 1.02am UK time on Thursday, September 16.

There is a five hour launch window, which means the rocket could blast off at any time between 1.02am and 6.02am.

SpaceX tweeted: "Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Wednesday, September 15 for launch of Dragon’s first all-civilian human spaceflight. The 5-hour launch window opens at 8:02 p.m. EDT."

The launch was delayed in order to "allow additional time for final preparations, vehicle checkouts and data reviews”.

This isn't unusual for space launches.

How to watch SpaceX launch

You can watch the SpaceX launch from the comfort of your own home.

SpaceX will stream the launch live on their YouTube channel, with coverage beginning at 8.45pm tonight.

What is the purpose of the mission?

The Inspiration4 mission objective is part of Jared's fund-raising goal to "give hope to all kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases".

Isaacman is funding the entire mission himself with an aim to "raise $200 million for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases in honour of this mission".

You can head to St Jude's Research Hospital to learn more.

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The Research hospital specialises in treating childhood cancer by auctioning off various items.

You can also watch Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space on Netflix to find out more.

Who is Jared Isaacman?

Jared Isaacman is the founder and chief executive of e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments.

He started the internet company, which offers financial solutions to other firms, in 1999 from his parents house when he was 16.

The 38-year-old tech mogul is now a billionaire, end his business employs 1,200 people.

It has not been disclosed exactly how much Isaacman was charged by SpaceX – but it's believed to be a very substantial sum.

He has extensive experience flying jets, and can pilot both commercial and military planes.

Isaacman is also the founder of Draken International – the world's largest private airforce.

  • Spacex

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